Season remains thrilling In the 2008 season to date, the teams contesting the ATS Formula 3 Cup have contested four events and eight races respectively and slowly, first tendencies and favourites are beginning to emerge. New teams have settled...
Season remains thrilling
In the 2008 season to date, the teams contesting the ATS Formula 3 Cup have contested four events and eight races respectively and slowly, first tendencies and favourites are beginning to emerge. New teams have settled in and succeeded in adapting to the new conditions and challenges. Many of those involved have been surprised by the strong competition and the high performance level on the grid of this year's Formula 3 Cup. "Despite being a well established ATS Formula 3 Cup Team we also had to adapt to this new situation," admits Swiss Racing Team Principal Othmar Welti.
Again and again, the rookies caused a stir and gave the established drivers a truly hard time, in the rounds contested to date. A fact last year's runner-up, Frederic Vervisch who wants to secure the title this year, also had to cope with. "He is under a lot of pressure and in addition, he pressurises himself," reveals his Team Principal, Welti. "Therefore, we have worked really hard in recent weeks." In the meantime, Vervisch has worked his way up to second position in the championship but Welti adds: "He has not yet achieved what he is able to do."
For another Team Principal, however, the season couldn't have run much better: for Team Ombra Racing's Massimo Pollini. "So far, we have been setting the pace," the Italian says with self-confidence. And with his driver Matteo Chinosi holding the championship lead in the ATS Formula 3 Cup he has got every right to feel this way. In addition, the team's new driver, Federico Leo, also has delivered in fine style and holds second position in the ATS Formula 3 Trophy, just one point behind the leader. And Massimo Rossi too has impressed in the ATS Formula 3 Trophy and currently holds fourth place.
For Van Amersfoort Racing, the 2008 season featured a new major challenge: for the first time, Dutch Team Principal Frits van Amersfoort relies on the new Volkswagen Motorsport Formula 3 engine. "I'm truly delighted with being supplied with Volkswagen engines," he says. "The co-operation works perfectly." But the engine isn't the only new component of the Van Amersfoort Racing package: for the two drivers, Rahel Frey and Laurens Vanthoor, 2008 also represents their Formula 3 debut season. "In the early stages of the season we had some minor problems as team and drivers had to accustom to one another," adds van Amersfoort. "In the meantime, however, we succeeded in establishing a good mutual trust." The experienced Formula 3 Team Principal also has to admit that the level of competitiveness on the ATS Formula 3 Cup grid has been increased once again, this year. Therefore, he is really happy with the pole position and the two podiums secured to date.
Team Neuhauser Racing switched from the Formula 3 Euro Series to the ATS Formula 3 Cup - with Team Principal Knud Rieser and the two drivers, Gerhard Tweraser and Marco Oberhauser. And although Tweraser has secured two race wins, Rieser isn't completely happy with what his team achieved in the first events of the season. "It's good but not enough," he underlines. "Gerhard has not yet displayed his true competitiveness. In the tests, we always are among the front runners but in the qualifying sessions, we often fail to make full used of our potential." While the achievements of Marco Oberhauser who contests the Trophy represent a positive surprise. "We wanted to make it to the Trophy top three with Marco - and now he holds the lead in this ranking - that's really great," beams the Austrian. Nonetheless, Rieser is aware: "There still are a lot of difficult races to be contested."
And this does apply not only to his team alone but to the entire field. The ATS Formula 3 Cup has established as an extremely competitive top-level young-talent series. Five drivers succeeded in securing podium finishes in the eight races contested to date and the championship leader's lead over the runner-up amounts to just four points. Even the fifth-placed driver could draw level with the current leader, in the coming event. A truly impressive proof of the competitiveness on the 2008 ATS Formula 3 Cup grid. The season will remain thrilling!