Zandvoort: Volkswagen preview

Volkswagen drivers in hot pursuit of victory at Zandvoort Wolfsburg (10 July 2009). After a successful first third of the season the seven Volkswagen drivers in the Formula 3 Euro Series are bound and determined to cause a sensation at Zandvoort...

Volkswagen drivers in hot pursuit of victory at Zandvoort

Wolfsburg (10 July 2009). After a successful first third of the season the seven Volkswagen drivers in the Formula 3 Euro Series are bound and determined to cause a sensation at Zandvoort too. The ultra-competitive junior series will stage the seventh and eighth race of the championship at the circuit situated in the North Sea dunes on the DTM weekend (17 -- 19 July).

"After finishing on the podium at the Formula 3 Masters at Zandvoort in June we think we've got good chances of clinching top positions at the two rounds of the Formula 3 Euro Series as well," says Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen. "The circuit situated directly on the North Sea coast has a long and proud tradition. Formula 1 raced there for many years. With its undulating sections and fast turns the track is very spectacular and demanding. Because the track layout at Zandvoort makes overtaking difficult, qualifying is of crucial importance. But I think the Volkswagen teams are well set. With Jean Karl Vernay in our ranks we've got a hot iron in the fire for the title fight."

Ranking third in the standings after six of 20 races of the season, the Frenchman from Team Signature is the best-placed driver "powered by Volkswagen" in the Formula 3 Euro Series. At Zandvoort, Vernay wants to continue his previous performances of one victory and two additional podium places and make up ground to leader of the standings Jules Bianchi (France/ART-Mercedes). "The team is doing an excellent job. As we showed at the Masters, we've got a good set-up for Zandvoort. Unfortunately, after clinching fifth place in qualifying, I retired in the race after an accident. Now, we want things to go much better. Of course a victory would be great. Our goal is to score as many points as possible in both races in order to keep the title race open."

The Finn Mika Maki is highly motivated as well. The driver from the Volkswagen partner team Signature finished the tradition-steeped Formula 3 Masters at Zandvoort, in which Europe's best Formula 3 drivers competed, as the runner-up. "I'm expecting a lot of this weekend. I know that we're very quick there and want to mount the top of the podium this time," says the 21-year-old. "Zandvoort is a very difficult circuit. If you make a mistake in any of the sections it will have a major effect on the remainder of the lap. You've always got to be highly concentrated there."

The Brazilian Tiago Geronimi competes for the Signature team as well. The Formula 3 rookie finished in ninth place at Zandvoort as the second-best Volkswagen driver and, most recently, clinched his first points in the Euro Series at the Norisring. The Volkswagen line-up in the Netherlands is complemented by Brendon Hartley (New Zealand) and Jake Rosenzweig (USA) from the Carlin Motorsport team. Johan Jokinen (Denmark) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) compete for the German Kolles & Heinz Union team. Since the Norisring event Tandy has been contesting the remainder of the Euro Series. "This is a great opportunity for me to be able to work together in such a competitive series with a manufacturer like Volkswagen. For me, the chassis as well as the engine and tyres are new. In addition, I don't know Zandvoort yet. That's why my goal this weekend is to learn a lot and to continuously improve," says the 24-year-old.

-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 , Jean-Karl Vernay , Jules Bianchi , Johan Jokinen
Teams Carlin , Volkswagen Motorsport