F3

ATS: Series newsletter 2008-06-02

The basis for success Carlo van Dam Dutch young gun Carlo van Dam dominated the 2007 ATS formula 3 cup season and secured the title early. He contested the season for the team of his compatriot Frits van Amersfoort and celebrated nine race ...

The basis for success Carlo van Dam

Dutch young gun Carlo van Dam dominated the 2007 ATS formula 3 cup season and secured the title early. He contested the season for the team of his compatriot Frits van Amersfoort and celebrated nine race wins. Quickly he began to attract attention beyond the ATS Formula 3 Cup and in the closing stages of the season, he was signed by Volkswagen as one of the drivers for the brand's test appearance on the Formula 3 Euro Series grid. In 2008, Carlo van Dam seized the chance of racing in the Japanese Formula 3 Championship as works driver for Tom's Toyota.

You moved to the city where your team is based. How do you like your new life in Japan. And, first of all, what about your progress regarding the Japanese language.

Thanks to the support of my team, Tom's, I quickly accustomed myself to everything. So far, I'm enjoying my life here in Japan a lot - on and off track. Here, I have got the opportunity to fully focus - together with my team - on my job and continue working on my fitness. Japan is a truly beautiful country and the people are just great. Very friendly, cooperative and hard-working. My Japanese knowledge still is very 'sukoshi' (limited) but I'm improving consistently.

You have been very successful, to date!

Yes, things have gone really well for me, so far. I've made it to the podium in every race and in the most recent round, at Suzuka, I secured my first win in Japan. These successes have boosted my self-confidence. I'm tied with the championship leader and I hope that I will keep on clinching good results, in the coming races.

The move to Japan certainly represented a major change for you - did this also apply to the technology area?

When I arrived, everything was new for me: the country, the people, the culture - and I also had to cope with several new aspects in the motor racing area. Aspects such as the new Dallara, the Toyota engine and the Bridgestone tyres. Adapting to the tires represented a particular challenge as there response differs from the one delivered by the Yokohama tyres. But together with the team we succeeded in finding solutions helping us to improve - and now, we seem to be very competitive.

How do you assess your ATS Formula 3 Cup involvement with hindsight?

The decision to contest the 2007 ATS Formula 3 Cup season definitely turned out to have been the right one. As I see it, the championship represents a great platform, particularly for the young drivers who are making their debut, there. You learn a lot, far more than in the one-design single-seater categories. I had a lot of fun racing in the ATS Formula 3 Cup and I'm proud of being one of its champions

Has the ATS Formula 3 Cup involvement been helpful for your career?

Thanks to the competitive season I enjoyed last year I was offered several great opportunities that will help me making progress on the motor-racing ladder. Without my wins and the really good PR work in the ATS Formula 3 Cup I arguably wouldn't have been signed for the Japanese Formula 3 Championship, this year - and certainly not by a team as professional as Tom's Toyota.

-credit: formel3.de

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Series F3
Drivers Carlo van Dam