Past meets future They met on the past ATS Formula 3 Cup weekend at Oschersleben: Bas Leinders and Laurens Vanthoor. The first Belgian ever to have won the International German Formula 3 Championship and the possibly new and youngest ...
Past meets future
They met on the past ATS Formula 3 Cup weekend at Oschersleben: Bas Leinders and Laurens Vanthoor. The first Belgian ever to have won the International German Formula 3 Championship and the possibly new and youngest champion coming from the small Benelux country. Leinders won the title back in 1998 and now, eleven years later, Vanthoor is the favourite and in a promising position when it comes to winning the 2009 ATS Formula 3 Cup title. At Oschersleben, the 18-year old celebrated back-to-back wins, thus repeating the feat delivered by Leinders in his championship season. "An important step on the way to the title," beamed Vanthoor when meeting his compatriot in the Parc Ferme.
Just as Vanthoor today, Leinders also contested the German Formula 3 series for Team Van Amersfoort Racing. "Eleven years are a long time but I still can recall those days rather well," said the 33-year old. "After all, I had been keen on racing single-seaters since my childhood days. Formula 3 was a very good education for me. Even in those days, the championship in Germany was perfectly organised and Van Amersfoort Racing has been one of the top teams for many years, now." In 2004, Leinders even made it to Formula 1 - as test driver for the Minardi Team.
Nonetheless, he always has kept an eye on the German Formula 3. "I'm delighted that the ATS Formula 3 Cup has proven to be that successful," adds Leinders. "With 22 cars, it features in impressive grid and in addition, the drivers also are really good." Leinders contests the FIA GT Championship at the wheel of a Ford GT that was designed and built according to the new regulations for 2010. It goes without saying that Vanthoor also congratulated his compatriot after the race. "Bas is one of the most popular racing drivers in Belgium," revealed the young gun. "It would be great if I could follow his footsteps by becoming the next Belgian driver to have secured a German Formula 3 title."
Should this dream come true, the German Formula 3 record book that was opened back in 1975 would feature three Belgian champions:
Bas Leinders 1998 - Van Amersfoort Racing Int. German Formula 3 Championship
Frederic Vervisch 2008 - Jo Zeller Racing ATS Formula 3 Cup
Laurens Vanthoor 2009 - Van Amersfoort Racing ATS Formula 3 Cup