Laurens Vanthoor clinches excellent victory on the Nurburgring and now leads the German F3 championship Nurburgring. The second meeting of the ATS F3 Cup took place this weekend on the legendary Nurburgring circuit. In the season's opening...
Laurens Vanthoor clinches excellent victory on the Nurburgring and now leads the German F3 championship
Nurburgring. The second meeting of the ATS F3 Cup took place this weekend on the legendary Nurburgring circuit. In the season's opening meeting in Oschersleben, Laurens Vanthoor won one race, but missed out on a good result in the second due to a jump start and the young Belgian was out for revenge this weekend in the German Eifel. During the weekend of the 24 Hours of the Nurburgring the official VW driver and member of the RACB National Team, enjoyed a brilliant weekend with no less than a pole position, one victory and a second place culminating in him now leading the German F3 championship.
During the first meeting of the season at Oschersleben, he not only won the first race but clinched two pole positions and at the Nurburgring he remained unbeaten after the first qualifying session. Laurens Vanthoor: "Perfect result, I can't say more than that, but I'm still not 100% happy with the car. The Nurburgring seems to be a circuit with far less grip than Oschersleben and I'm unable to put in as strong an attack here as on a track with lots of grip. We'll obviously need to devise another strategy and set-up."
During the second qualifying session of the ATS F3 Cup on the Nurburgring Laurens Vanthoor finished third. "This confirmed my doubts", the young hopeful commented. "It's a reasonable result, but we're just lacking that little something to reach the level of Oschersleben. On top of that I had more trouble today than yesterday in trying to clock up the perfect lap, but ending in 3rd place is pretty good."
Due to the start of the 24 hours race held this weekend the timing was somewhat different and the F3 drivers had their first race on the Friday evening. Laurens Vanthoor won the Friday evening race, ahead of Rahel Frey and Bernd Herndlhofer. Notwithstanding the fact that Laurens Vanthoor led from start to finish it wasn't an easy victory.
"Appearances can be deceptive, because it wasn't an easy race", the Belgian single-seater talent remarked after the race. "I had a good start and was able to build up a 1 to 2 seconds lead in the first lap, but the gap didn't increase. I had to fight during the entire race to retain my lead and it was only in the final laps that I felt safe. But more importantly the result is there."
Thanks to the excellent result Laurens was once again leading the championship and during the weekend's second race held during the 24 Hours of the Nurburgring he would be out to defend the title.
Finishing in second place on Saturday Vanthoor scored his third podium place in four races. At the start he was able to outwit a competitor and came through in second position.
Laurens Vanthoor: "But as I had emphasized earlier the car's set-up wasn't 100%, and I wasn't able to get the most out of my tyres. I did in fact have a good start and immediately went up into second spot but very quickly realised that it would be difficult to take the lead. I didn't want to take any unnecessary risks seeing the main aim is the championship title and you therefore need to drive sensibly." Rahel Frey won the second race of the meeting on the Nurburgring.
Finishing in second place in the second race on the Nurburgring Laurens Vanthoor has in fact increased his leader's position in the German ATS F3 Cup. Vanthoor now leads the championship with 32 points, ahead of Frey (31p) and Dusseldorp (24p).
The next meeting of the ATS F3 Cup will take place in Hockenheim on 6th and 7th June.