With Volkswagen to the title: Laurens Vanthoor is Formula 3 Champion Wolfsburg (22 August 2009). Volkswagen driver Laurens Vanthoor clinched the ATS Formula 3 Cup title with two race weekends to spare after taking a win and twelfth position at...
With Volkswagen to the title: Laurens Vanthoor is Formula 3 Champion
Wolfsburg (22 August 2009). Volkswagen driver Laurens Vanthoor clinched the ATS Formula 3 Cup title with two race weekends to spare after taking a win and twelfth position at the Nurburgring. In doing so the recently turned 18-year old Belgian crowned an impressive season of results which include to date 9 wins, 10 pole positions and 8 fastest race laps in Germany's highest ranking single-seater race series. The team Van Amersfoort Racing driver thus secured Volkswagen the championship title in only its second year after its return as engine supplier in Formula 3. In the German Cup power plants from three manufacturers -- Opel, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen -- are used.
"Congratulations to Laurens Vanthoor. He stamped his authority on the Formula 3 Cup from the very first race and really deserves the title as a consequence," says Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen. "The Formula 3 championship win is a further highlight for Volkswagen in the 2009 motorsport year after winning the Dakar Rally in January, our successes in the 24-hour races and more recently at the Rallye dos Sert?es in Brazil. The title continues our winning history in supporting budding stars of tomorrow."
With four races left to run and only 48 points still to be awarded Vanthoor holds an unassailable lead over his team mate and closest rival Stef Dusseldorp who has 81 points. "I'm absolutely delighted about my championship victory," says the young talent. "Many thanks to my team Van Amersfoort Racing and Volkswagen who have supported me since I started in single-seater racing last year. After having finished fourth in 2008 in my debut year in the ATS Formula 3 Cup, Volkswagen and I decided that I should also compete this year in the series which paid off. I'm proud to win the first title for Volkswagen since its comeback as Formula 3 engine supplier."
After winning the title Vanthoor follows in the footsteps of great names. In the 1980s and at the start of the nineteen nineties seven drivers celebrated winning the German Formula 3 Championship with Volkswagen and, in doing so, set the foundation for their successful careers. Today's Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen (1986), DTM record champion Bernd Schneider (1987) as well as seven-time Formula 1 World Champion Michael Schumacher (1990) and eight-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans Tom Kristensen (1991) earned the championship title.
The Dane Kristensen, as the last Volkswagen Formula 3 Champion, heartily congratulated his successor Vanthoor: "Congratulations to Laurens and Volkswagen for winning the Formula 3 Cup title. Volkswagen has impressively demonstrated its strengths after taking this victory only two years after its Formula 3 comeback. A super reward for the hard work put in by the entire team and my compatriot Kris Nissen. I would be delighted if Laurens set the foundation to a successful career after winning this title. It was similar with me at that time: The victory in 1991 was my very first title and the foundation for my future career as racing driver. The races with Volkswagen and Bertram Schafer's team was a wonderful era during which I learned a great deal and which I still enjoy reminiscing about today."
Volkswagen is credited with 92 wins, 96 pole positions and 94 fastest race laps in the German championship all time winners list. Volkswagen sets the standards worldwide with a total of 56 international championship victories and innumerable wins.