Win in the Formula 3 debut The ATS Formula 3 Cup Saturday race held this weekend at the Hockenheimring, featuring a new round in the already known battle between the rookies and the established drivers, ended with a major surprise. The race was...
Win in the Formula 3 debut
The ATS Formula 3 Cup Saturday race held this weekend at the Hockenheimring, featuring a new round in the already known battle between the rookies and the established drivers, ended with a major surprise. The race was won by Germany's Nico Monien for Team URD Rennsport who contested their very first their Formula 3 race, this weekend. While the round on Sunday was won by the experienced HS Technik driver Tom Dillmann (France). So engine suppliers Mercedes and Volkswagen secured a win each, in front of 27.500 spectators.
While the final third of the first qualifying session was hampered by drizzle, the rest of the weekend was held in perfect conditions. And the lap times that were nearly identical to the ones set in the British Formula 3 Championship once again underlined that the competitiveness and technical progress of the ATS Formula 3 Cup has reached a new, higher level. The British Championship contested one of its three abroad events, at Hockenheim.
Team URD Rennsport made a truly perfect Formula 3 debut. Courtesy of its German driver Nico Monien, the squad around Harald Ungar - the brother of Technical Director Gerhard Ungar who is responsible for the DTM Mercedes vehicles entered by HWA - won the fifth round of the season. Monien, who finished fifth in the 2009 ATS Formula 3 Cup season, now will contest the rest of the season for URD Rennsport. Meanwhile, Harald Ungar has another race seat available for Austrian Klaus Bachler who was injured in an accident prior to the season.
Following the Saturday round, the mechanics of the teams Van-Amersfoort-Racing and Motopark Academy had to cope with a night shift. At the start of the Saturday race, Luis Sa Silva hit the rear of Willi Steindl - who had stalled his engine - at high speed. An incident that once again demonstrated the high safety standards of Formula 3. Both cars were damaged seriously but the drivers survived the incident unharmed, nevertheless. On Sunday, they both were back on the starting grid.
Due to unsporting conduct, Swedish Team Principal Bobby Issazadhe was called to the Race Control on Saturday afternoon. His driver Felix Rosenqvist had held the lead but then he was forced into retirement after having been pushed off the track by Christian Abt. Abt was penalised right away and when he was driving through the pit-lane, Issazadhe showed him the finger. The Performance Racing Team Principal got away with a fine.
On Friday evening, HS Technik nearly had lost their VW van. An incident that didn't happen on the way to the hotel but while the vehicle was standing in the paddock. The MINI Challenge held its 'MINI-Pulling' contest right besides the team's VW van. And together with several helpers, Cora - the wife of DTM driver Ralf Schumacher - accelerated the MINI to a speed that it could be stopped just centimetres before hitting the van.
Track announcer and Formula 3 Association board member Peter Dahlmanns was extremely busy, at Hockenheim: in addition to his task as track announcer for the Cup, he also executed this job during the races of the British Formula 3 Championship.
The Team of the Weekend was...
...without any doubt URD Rennsport. On its very first Formula 3 weekend, the squad around Harald Ungar celebrated a race win right away. On Sunday, however, the team returned to earth. At first, Nico Monien stalled the engine at the start and later, he received a drive-thru penalty for having crossed a white line representing a track boundary.
Clear regulations, clear penalties
The Race Control had made it absolutely clear: the area behind the white lines to the left and the right of the track represent a restricted area for the drivers. This also applied to the 'Nordkurve' at the end of the pit-straight. But again and again, the drivers tried to use the asphalted run-off area to keep a higher momentum for the following straight by opting for a bigger radius.
As soon as a driver had crossed this line - in the practice or qualifying sessions - with all the four wheels, his respective lap time was disallowed. In the race, a driver got away with the first two violations of this rule but in the case of a third, he received a drive-thru penalty.
The fifth round of the season, held on Saturday afternoon, featured a dramatic climax. Felix Rosenqvist and Daniel Abt were battling it out for the lead when Abt touched the Swede's car at the rear in the Sachskurve and pushed him into the gravel. Rosenquist's race was over and Abt received a drive-thru penalty for having caused the incident. So, he dropped back to fifth while Nico Monien - who benefited from the incident and crossed the finish line as race winner - was virtually over the moon. Kevin Magnussen and Tom Dillmann finished second and third respectively.
At the start of round six, Dillmann made perfect use of his pole position and quickly opened a gap on the rest of the field. While doing so, the Frenchman benefited from several fierce battles behind him. And again, Abt and Rosenquist were involved in a particularly spectacular battle - this time for third position. But after having crossed the white lines three times, the Swede had to come in for a drive-thru and Abt inherited the third position behind Stef Dusseldorp.
In the ATS Formula 3 Cup Championship, Tom Dillmann succeeded in extending his lead to nine points over Daniel Abt and ten over Kevin Magnussen. In the ATS Formula 3 Trophy, Riccardo Brutschin defended his lead. His lead amounts to 13 points over Alexey Karachev and 14 over Aleksi Tuukkanen.
In the SONAX Rookie Cup, Magnussen still holds the lead - but is tied with Abt who also has got 50 points on his tally. Nonetheless, Abt has to cope with second position as Magnussen has won one race more than the German. Luis Derani and Jimmy Eriksson both have scored 26 points and hold third and fourth place respectively.
Meanwhile, the AvD Speed-Pokal is dominated by Tom Dillmann. The experienced Frenchman is the dominant leader, followed by the rookies Daniel Abt (Germany) und Kevin Magnussen (Denmark).