Podium for Volkswagen driver Mailleux -- Mortara "half-time champion" Wolfsburg (13 July 2008). Successful defence of overall lead and a podium position: At races nine and ten at Zandvoort, the Netherlands, the Volkswagen drivers concluded the...
Podium for Volkswagen driver Mailleux -- Mortara "half-time champion"
Wolfsburg (13 July 2008). Successful defence of overall lead and a podium position: At races nine and ten at Zandvoort, the Netherlands, the Volkswagen drivers concluded the first half of the Formula 3 Euro Series with further positive results. On the tradition-rich circuit on the North Sea coast, Franck Mailleux (France) shone with position three in Sunday's race, further points positions during the course of the weekend went to his Signature team-mates: Jean Karl Vernay was fifth on Saturday and fourth on Sunday. Robert Wickens in the first of the two forty-minute sessions clinched seventh place, but was forced to retire on Sunday through no fault of his own.
The leader of the standings, Edoardo Mortara, finished out of the points at Zandvoort. After being struck by misfortune in qualifying, the Volkswagen driver had to start to the first race from position 15. For the Italian, his fight to make up ground on Saturday ended prematurely with a spin into the gravel trap on lap 17 while he was running in tenth place. On Sunday, a tyre puncture after a starting accident destroyed any hope of adding points to his previous tally.
In the overall standings, however, Mortara (40 points) defended his lead. He is followed by the Finn Mika Maki with 31 and Nico Hulkenberg from Emmerich (both Mercedes Dallara) with 26 points in places two and three. A leap forwards was made by Franck Mailleux, who improved to sixth position in the overall classification.
Kris Nissen, Volkswagen Motorsport Director: "The race weekend at Zandvoort has two positive aspects for Volkswagen: for one, with a further podium finish clinched by Franck Mailleux, we proved the competitiveness of our Volkswagen Group engine yet again. For the other, Edoardo Mortara continues leading the standings. With our first victory and eight further podium positions in ten races, we've achieved more in the first half of the season than we'd been expecting for the entire season. Even though Edoardo experienced a difficult weekend here, together with Signature, he made the fewest mistakes and deserves running in front halfway through the season. But to dream of the title at this point in time would be presumptuous."
#7 - Edoardo Mortara (I) - Volkswagen Dallara F308 - Team Signature
Qualifying: place 15 - race 1: retirement - race 2: place 21
"The good news is that I continue leading the overall standings. The bad news started hitting me on Friday. In qualifying, we didn't manage getting the tyres to really work in the crucial trial. Then, in the first race, I took excessive chances in order to still clinch the final position in the points. On Sunday, I was hit in the starting commotion. But that's racing. We look towards the future now and look forward to the races at the Nurburgring. There, I want to score points again."
#8 - Franck Mailleux (F) - Volkswagen Dallara F308 - Team Signature
Qualifying: place 14 - race 1: place 10 - race 2: place 3
"Despite a poor result in the final practice, we kept moving forwards this weekend. Particularly on Sunday, a perfect start from position ten was crucial for finishing third. Standing on the podium is always a great feeling, and I'd like to enjoy that more frequently in future. This weekend again showed how good the Volkswagen engine is even after this short development cycle. We were competitive once more at any point in time."
#30 - Jean Karl Vernay (F) - Volkswagen Dallara F308 - Team Signature
Qualifying: place 5 - race 1: place 5 - race 2: place 4
"For us, it was again a positive weekend at which we scored seven important points. Finishing in the points twice is something you can't take for granted in the Formula 3 Euro Series. Unfortunately, I forfeited the chance for a better result with a less than perfect start to Sunday's race. Nevertheless, after a disappointing beginning of the season, things are now getting progressively better. The top five in the overall classification continue to be possible, and that's what I'm shooting for."