Catalunya: Volkswagen preview

Volkswagen talents start to horsepower fiesta at Barcelona Wolfsburg (14 September 2009). After the most successful race weekend for Volkswagen in the Formula 3 Euro Series so far the seven Volkswagen drivers want to cause another sensation at...

Volkswagen talents start to horsepower fiesta at Barcelona

Wolfsburg (14 September 2009). After the most successful race weekend for Volkswagen in the Formula 3 Euro Series so far the seven Volkswagen drivers want to cause another sensation at Barcelona. Europe's top Formula 3 series will stage rounds 15 and 16 of the season at the Circuit de Catalunya in the north of the Mediterranean metropolis from 18 to 20 September. The talents from the ADAC Volkswagen Polo Cup will start from the grid of this venue as well. At the penultimate round of the season for the "touring car school" the Pole Maciek Steinhof may secure an early title win. But his rivals Max Sandritter and Elia Erhardt are bound and determined to fight at the Polo Cup's only foreign round this year and to maintain their chances for the title.

Formula 3 Euro Series: Volkswagen drivers go to Barcelona with tail wind

The Volkswagen drivers in the Formula 3 Euro Series are going to Barcelona highly motivated after winning the race on Saturday as well as on Sunday at the previous race weekend at Brands Hatch for the first time since the comeback of the Wolfsburg-based automobile group. "Our drivers and teams have proved the competitiveness of the Volkswagen Formula 3 engine by most recently clinching two victories," says Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen. "Barcelona is a circuit where aerodynamics in particular plays a major role. But there are also some tight corners where traction is crucial. We aim to display our strengths there again and continue the performances we showed at Brands Hatch."

The Frenchman Karl Vernay from the Signature team who ranks in fourth place overall continues to be the driver "powered by Volkswagen" with the highest points score in the Formula 3 Euro Series. "Unfortunately, I didn't score at the last rounds at Brands Hatch. But my lap times showed that I had the potential to fight for front positions," says the 21-year-old. "That's why I'm confident for Barcelona too." Ranking just two points behind Vernay in seventh place in a tight field chasing the front runners is his Finnish team-mate Mika Maki, who won Saturday's race in the United Kingdom. "I always clinched podium positions at the past three race weekends, and want this string to continue. Because of the small gaps to the drivers who are in front of me in the standings I want to improve some more in the overall classification," says the 21-year-old. Signature's third driver is the Brazilian Tiago Geronimi.

Brendon Hartley not only claimed his first Formula 3 Euro Series victory in Sunday's race at Brands Hatch but also the first of his team, Carlin Motorsport. "Now, I want to win more races," says the New Zealander. "This victory was important for my self-confidence. My team and I know Barcelona very well from many tests, so we're expecting to again clinch places among the front runners. Volkswagen's line-up in Spain is completed by the second Carlin driver, Jake Rosenzweig, as well as by the drivers of the Kolles & Heinz Union team, Nick Tandy and Johan Jokinen.

ADAC Volkswagen Polo Cup: first match ball for Steinhof

Only two more rounds of the season are on the calendar this year for the ADAC Volkswagen Polo Cup. The Pole Maciek Steinhof will travel to Barcelona for the season's eighth of nine races in the "touring car school" as the commanding leader of the standings. With a total of 304 points he has a 45-point advantage over his closest rival, Max Sandritter, Elia Erhart follows with a gap of 25 points. A maximum of 60 points are awarded at one race weekend. If Steinhof, who has won four races this season, manages to extend his advantage to 61 points in the Polo Cup's only foreign round this year at the Circuit de Catalunya he will have become the early champion of the 2009 ADAC Volkswagen Polo Cup. "My goal is to win the race," says the 23-year-old. "Although Barcelona is new territory for me I've always gotten used to new tracks quickly. After four victories and two second places in the first six races, things didn't go so well for me most recently at the Nurburgring where I finished seventh. Now I want to be among the front runners again."

Max Sandritter is currently riding a wave of success and goes to Barcelona after scoring three wins in a row. Despite his points gap the 20-year-old from Raubling has not written off his hopes for the title. "It won't be easy, but a lot can happen in racing. As long as there is a theoretical chance of clinching the title based on the score, I'll continue fighting," says the youngster. "The track is new for all the drivers, so the race may produce some surprises. I think that some of the rookies will be at the front of the field too." Whereas his rivals for the title only know the 2.977-kilometre circuit from computer games, Elia Erhart has the advantage of concrete experience. Besides Stefan Kolb, the 21-year-old from Rottenbach, who thanks to consistent performances is ranking third in the standings after five podium places, is one of two drivers who competed at Barcelona in 2007 when the ADAC Volkswagen Polo Cup made its only visit to Barcelona so far.

-credit: vw

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About this article
Series F3 Europe
Drivers Brendon Hartley , Mika Maki , Kris Nissen , Tiago Geronimi , Jake Rosenzweig , Nick Tandy , Johan Jokinen , Max Sandritter , Stefan Kolb , Elia Erhart
Teams Carlin , Volkswagen Motorsport