CARLO VAN DAM RETAINS ATS F3 CUP LEAD! NÃœRBURG, 09 JUNE 2007 - A victory in the opening race, two pole positions and a fastest race lap at the German NÃ¼rburgring meant Carlo van Dam did good business in the ATS Formula 3 Cup. The Dutchman ...
CARLO VAN DAM RETAINS ATS F3 CUP LEAD!
NÜRBURG, 09 JUNE 2007 - A victory in the opening race, two pole positions and a fastest race lap at the German Nürburgring meant Carlo van Dam did good business in the ATS Formula 3 Cup. The Dutchman also tried to take victory in the final race of the weekend, but had to let go of Frédéric Vervisch in a do-or-die attempt at the start. After a decent race in which he overtook many other drivers he finished in eighth place. In the championship standings Van Dam is still in the lead with 52 championship points, two ahead of his main opponent Vervisch. The S-T-A-R-T-driver is second in the Rookie Cup with 47 points.
FREE PRACTICE + QUALIFICATIONS:
The competitors of the German Formula 3 championship took to the track early Thursday morning on the Nürburgring, as the series drove as a support series of the popular 24 Hours race. Van Dam, the leader in the championship, used the forty minutes long free practice to get familiar with the 4.638 meter long track. With new tyres he clocked the second fastest lap (1:40.2). In the following qualifying session Van Dam improved his result. In only his third lap he set the fastest lap, good enough for pole position. Van Dam was the only one out of eighteen participants that went below the 1:40 mark and beat Christian Vietoris to the pole by 0.371 seconds.
In the second qualifying session Van Dam was once again very fast out there. In only his second lap he set the fastest lap. A 1:39.539 meant he beat Belgian JB Motorsport drivers Vervisch and Nico Verdonck who had to do with second and third place on the grid. Van Dam won his fourth and fifth pole position of the season and added two valuable points to his total score.
RACE 01 + 02:
The first race took place on Saturday morning at 8:05. Poleman Van Dam had a great start and managed to keep his lead. When Norman Knop and Marcel Schuler collided in the first lap the safety car was deployed. With lowering fog at the circuit the field was only released again in the fifth lap. After the re-start Van Dam got away well again and gained a second on the rest of the field. When his nearest opponent Verdonck made a small mistake there was nothing that prevented Van Dam from taking the win. Behind Van Dam and Verdonck it was Vietoris who crossed the line in third place.
The second race of the weekend also took place on Saturday morning. Van Dam tried to get away fast but a clutch problem prevented a decent start. Vervisch, also starting from the front row, managed to get away well and tried to pass Van Dam before going into the first turn. Van Dam attempted to make up for his mistake and keep ahead of the Belgian driver, but out braked himself in the corner and ended up in the gravel trap. This resulted in Van Dam dropping to the eighteenth and last position out on track. The Van Amersfoort Racing driver did not give up though and started a marvellous race back through the field. Halfway the fifteen-lap race he had fought his way back into eighth place. He was then very close to Michael Klein but the German's car was faster on the long straights. After almost 26 minutes Van Dam finished in eighth place.
CARLO VAN DAM: "We had the speed and the right set-up for the car this weekend. I was fastest in the qualifications and did not have a single problem in the first race. All I forgot to do was score enough points in the second race. After a very bad start I tried a do-or-die move on Vervisch in an attempt to pass him, but I missed the turn at the end of the straight. I gambled and lost. Nevertheless the season is still long and I will prepare for the next races in the ATS Formula 3 Cup taking place at the same circuit."