F3

ATS: Series Oschersleben preview

The FIA GT Championship is going to celebrate its 10th Oschersleben anniversary, this weekend, and the ATS Formula 3 Cup also will be on site. From 18th to 21st June, the super-sports cars are going to race in Germany's Magdeburger Borde region...

The FIA GT Championship is going to celebrate its 10th Oschersleben anniversary, this weekend, and the ATS Formula 3 Cup also will be on site. From 18th to 21st June, the super-sports cars are going to race in Germany's Magdeburger Borde region for the 10th time - but for the first time, the FIA GT weekend programme also will feature the fastest German single-seater series. The Motorsport Arena will be the venue of the seventh and eight rounds of the 2009 ATS Formula 3 Cup season.

"Following the appearance in the support programme of the Nurburgring 24-Hour Race, the Oschersleben weekend represents the second major season highlight," promises Formula 3 Press Officer Peter Dahlmanns. "After all, the fans will have the chance of witnessing a spectacular mix of brawny 600bhp sports cars and blinding fast single-seaters." Once again, the ATS Formula 3 Cup will contest a race weekend with a packed F1-size starting grid. And the fact that 12 drivers succeeded in scoring points in the still young season proves that the racing is extremely close, this season.

It's true, Laurens Vanthoor has extended his championship lead but on the other hand, seven points aren't exactly what you could call a comfortable lead. Therefore, the 17-year old's approach regarding the forthcoming race weekend is accordingly careful. "In the season kick-off, my team-mate, Stef Dusseldorp, proved to be extremely competitive, there. I think he is the one I will have to watch particularly, this year." Nonetheless, the championship favourite also should keep an eye on one of his female rivals: behind Dutchman Dusseldorp, Switzerland's Rahel Frey currently holds third position in the championship - and in the season kick-off at Oschersleben she made it to the podium. "I can't say if Oschersleben's circuit suits me particularly well," she says, "While my confidence in my car is of major importance. And I feel truly good, currently."

Always close to making it, always among the front-runners but still without a win under his belt - that's how you could describe the achievements of Rafael Suzuki. The 21-year old keeps on waiting for his first race win that definitely will come, at a certain point in time - maybe as early as this weekend. Meanwhile, you also shouldn't forget Bernd Herndlhofer as the Austrian also proved to be fast, in the season kick-off, and finished runner-up in the Sunday round.

At the same time, the Formula 3 rookies and team-mates Markus Pommer and Nico Monien have recently displayed a clear upward trend. The two Germans score more and more points and also must be regarded as two drivers who have got what it takes to secure a race win at any time, with Monien who was raised in Spain shining in particular. After all, he made it to the podium both at the Nurburgring and in Hockenheim. "A great feeling I'd love to enjoy more often."

Meanwhile, the Trophy ranking is dominated by Sergey Chukanov. The Ukrainian has won all the six races contested to date - and has done so with his somewhat exotic chassis, the Arttech F24 OPC-Challenge. The car is a Russian design and together with its 21-year old Formula 3 experienced driver, this combination currently represents the Trophy yardstick. Nonetheless, the competition tries hard to give Chukanov a hard time, with Italo-German Franceso Lopez being particularly successful, in this area. Having scored points in every race and secured five podium finishes, the 19-year old successfully keeps on pressurising the Trophy leader and holds second position in the Trophy ranking, followed by Finland's Mika Vahamaki.

At the end of the day, the ATS Formula 3 Cup season couldn't be far more thrilling, with the first third of the season being completed. The young guns want to provide a good show at Oschersleben - and most definitely will do so. After all, they have the chance of demonstrating their skills in an international environment and in front of the eyes of many influential Team Principals.

-credit: formel3.de

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Series F3
Drivers Rahel Frey , Laurens Vanthoor , Nico Monien , Markus Pommer , Rafael Suzuki , Bernd Herndlhofer , Mika Vahamaki