F3

ATS: Series Sachsenring preview

Thrilling racing guaranteed The ATS Formula 3 Cup drivers have been looking forward to the coming weekend for a long time. The next stop: Sachsenring! After all, the tradition-rich circuit located close to the Eastern German city of Zwickau is...

Thrilling racing guaranteed

The ATS Formula 3 Cup drivers have been looking forward to the coming weekend for a long time. The next stop: Sachsenring! After all, the tradition-rich circuit located close to the Eastern German city of Zwickau is regarded as a special challenge for single-seater drivers. Due to the mix of fast corner combinations as well as uphill and downhill sections, total concentration and a lot of courage are a must to succeed at the Sachsenring that will be the venue of the 15th and 16th rounds of the fastest German single-seater series, on 19th and 20th September.

And although Belgium's Laurens Vanthoor has secured the 2009 title, the coming races promise to provide a lot of thrilling motor racing, nevertheless. After all, there still are several drivers battling it out for the runner-up position. Will Stef Dusseldorp, the currently second-placed driver, really do it? Will a rookie truly make it? Has the young Dutchman got what it takes to really prevail at the extremely demanding Sachsenring?

In any case, Dusseldorp can't hope for the support of his team-mate Vanthoor. "We have got a healthy rivalry at Team Van Amersfoort Racing," says the 18-year old Belgian who is the clearly youngest champion in the ATS Formula 3 Cup history. "We both have had and still have equal rights and therefore, I want to keep on winning as many races as possible." Meanwhile, Dusseldorp also displays a healthy confidence. "I'm holding an 18-point lead over my toughest rivals," says the 19-year old. "On the one hand, this lead isn't big enough to feel safe but on the other, it isn't exactly what I would call narrow." But he is well aware that there still is a total of 48 points to be scored, at the Sachsenring and four weeks later, in the season finale at Oschersleben. So, he definitely mustn't rest on his laurels.

And there is a second goal the Dutchman wants to realise apart from finishing runner up in the championship: to win the rookie cup. In the fight for this title, however, two Germans are determined to give him a hard time: Markus Pommer and Nico Monien. They both race for Zettl Sportsline - and just as Vanthoor and Dusseldorp, they also keep on pressurising each other to the max. And the battle between the team-mates is an extremely close one: currently, 18-year old Pommer has got just five rookie-ranking points more on his tally than 19-year old Monien.

In the third important ranking, however, the ATS Formula 3 Trophy, the battle is virtually over: with four more races to be contested, Sergey Chukanov holds a dominant lead. To bar Chukanov from winning the title, his rival Francesco Lopez must win each of the coming four races, with Chukanov failing to score a single point - a somewhat absurd scenario in consideration of the dominance displayed by Chukanov to date. But who knows? When it comes to the wild Formula 3 young guns, everything is possible. And don't forget: the Sachsenring represents a true challenge. Here, the wheat is separated from the chaff and those who aren't able to opt for a courageous approach will be truly outclassed by the rest of the field.

-credit: ats

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Series F3
Drivers Laurens Vanthoor , Stef Dusseldorp , Nico Monien , Markus Pommer