F3

ATS: Cologne 24 kart race summary

Solid midfield result Vanthoor, van Dam and Vietoris (19.01.2009) In front of some 5,000 spectators, the young Formula 3 team secured a solid midfield result in the endurance kart event 'Cologne 24-Hour Race', held at the indoor kart circuit ...

Solid midfield result Vanthoor, van Dam and Vietoris

(19.01.2009) In front of some 5,000 spectators, the young Formula 3 team secured a solid midfield result in the endurance kart event 'Cologne 24-Hour Race', held at the indoor kart circuit located in Cologne Rodenkirchen. With Laurens Vanthoor, Carlo van Dam and Christian Vietoris, the team also featured three popular ATS Formula 3 Cup drivers.

Despite failing to secure a top result, the team of hopeful young racing drivers that was run by Christoph Hewer, series manager of the Formula 3 Euro Series, succeeded in impressing in the Cologne 24-Hour Race. In the event held from 17th to 18th January, the squad finished sixth in the 12-team field. In exactly 24 hours and 25.2 seconds, the team completed a total of 3212 laps. The winners, Team Expomax for Kids headed by DTM ace Bernd Schneider, completed 3247 laps.

Carlo van Dam, the 2007 ATS Formula 3 Cup Champion, was the driver who had to make the longest journey to compete in the Cologne 24-Hour Race. The Dutchman travelled to Germany straight from Formula Nippon tests in Japan. "It goes without saying that I also use this trip to go and see my family and friends in the Netherlands," revealed the works driver of Japan's Tom's Toyota Formula 3 team.

The Formula 3 squad contesting the Cologne 24-Hour Race comprised eight drivers: apart from the three aforementioned drivers, Marco Wittmann and Stefano Coletti also raced for the squad - and the same applied to the three kart drivers Dominik Heinz, Oliver Warken and Christoph Hewer. And at the end of the day, they all had to learn that defeating the experienced indoor experts is anything but easy. "It was amazing to see how well the other kart teams were prepared," admitted Laurens Vanthoor. "The amateurs seem to have practiced a lot." Furthermore, contesting the event represented hard work for the Belgian who is regarded as one of the 2009 ATS Formula 3 Cup favourites. "The circuit is rather short but demanding, nevertheless," he added. "A lap virtually nearly no chance for a breather. Other than in Formula 3, the straights just aren't long enough."

The Formula 3 team managed by Christoph Hewer contested the arguably most popular indoor kart race on German soil for the second time. "This year, our team was clearly better balanced," said Hewer. "There were nearly no differences when it comes to the lap times." A glance at the time sheets underlines that the racing in the Cologne 24-Hour Race was extremely close. At the end of the exhausting 24 hours, the Formula 3 team finished just seven seconds behind the fifth-placed squad.

"Setting consistently fast lap times is anything but easy, here," revealed Christian Vietoris. "Despite its length of just 375 metres, the circuit features numerous difficult spots where you easily can make a mistake."

The first Cologne 24-Hour Race at the indoor kart circuit in Cologne Rodenkirchen was held back in 1996. This year's edition - the 12th - also was contested by a driver who currently is competing in Formula 1: Adrian Sutil. The Force India driver raced for Team R&S Mobile that finished runner-up. And for the first time, the AvD, 'Automobilclub von Deutschland', was involved as event sponsor.

-credit: formel3.de

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About this article
Series F3
Drivers Bernd Schneider , Carlo van Dam , Stefano Coletti , Christian Vietoris , Marco Wittmann , Laurens Vanthoor
Teams Force India