The seventh round of the ATS F3 Cup was one of the most difficult ones for Frederic Vervisch so far this season. However the weekend started promising with the third time in practice. Assen isn't easy ground for the Lola B06/30 as one could...
The seventh round of the ATS F3 Cup was one of the most difficult ones for Frederic Vervisch so far this season. However the weekend started promising with the third time in practice.
Assen isn't easy ground for the Lola B06/30 as one could observe already during the races in course of the Rizla Racing Day. Again, this proved to be a fact last weekend. During both qualifyings rain was a spoilsport and Frederic had to content himself with eight and sixth place on the grid. "We don't know why we're so slow. We changed the set up a few times, but that didn't improve our performance. Although I still had lots of oversteer the car was much better in second qualifying", Frederic said.
Starting so far behind is always dangerous, as accidents in the middle of the field happen more often going into the first turn. This time it was the other way around and there was an incident between Vietoris and poleman Bruins. Frederic was able to benefit from the incident to move up a place after he already overtook Muermans at the start. Still it went almost wrong in the first corner. "I was sandwiched by Muermans and Bruins going into the corner. I was lucky not to be hit by the other drivers or my race would have ended on the spot", the Belgian told. Two corners later, he passed the Italian driver Glorioso. After Vietoris made a mistake Vervisch gained another position. Then it was Bruins who put our man under pressure. This was followed by a nice battle between both drivers. Bruins nearly overtook Frederic, but JB's driver defended himself courageously with his underpowered Lola and kept his fourth place. "It was a nice duel with Bruins and I really enjoyed it. This was racing at its best. I had too much understeer in the race and that made things more difficult, but I'm happy with fourth place nevertheless", Vervisch concluded.
The second race was held in sunny conditions and was, next to the race in Oschersleben, probably the most exciting race of the season. "My start was good, but I was obstructed by Vietoris. We went into the first turn with three cars side by side. Vietoris was on the inside, I was in the middle and my teammate Nico Verdonck on the outside. Nico touched my front wing and went off. I overtook Vietoris in the next corner and was hunting Carlo Van Dam in third position", said Frederic about the start of the second race. Then the Belgian made a mistake and his tyres picked up a lot of dirt. Verdonck then passed Frederic on the outside after a bold attempt in Ruskenhoek. "It could have gone wrong there, so I backed off to avoid a crash. It was a risky manoeuvre." Thereafter Vietoris attacked Vervisch. After a beautiful fight Frederic was able to hold off his German rival. "I went after Verdonck, but on the straights I was hitting the rev limiter and I therefore could not drive in his slipstream." Fred finished fifth.
"Maybe we could have performed better, but our car never was good at Assen and it was a difficult weekend. I had quite some fun during those battles and that isn't unimportant. I don't think I will be able to win the championship, although I'm still in the running for the title mathematically. I think that we can perform well at the next track, the Sachsenring. I'm confident that we will be strong there", Frederic Vervisch concluded.
The Belgian Connection in Assen
The thirteenth and fourteenth race of the German Formula 3 Championship were held in course of the Dutch Champ Car Grand Prix in Assen in front of 75.000 fans.
There is also a Belgian driver participating in Champ Car: Jan Heylen. Driving for Eric Bachelarts Conquest Racing team, the Belgian finished strong second last weekend. During the whole race Heylen was fighting for victory. A fantastic performance by the Belgian who drove for JB Motorsport in German F3 back in 2004. "It's a pity that I could not finish on the podium in Zolder the weekend before, but nevertheless I'm so happy with my first podium finish in Champ Car. Hopefully we will be able to continue to perform strong and finish the last two races of the season in the top five", Heylen said.