OSCHERSLEBEN. Laurens Vanthoor kicked off the season in the German ATS F3 Cup, the German national F3 championship in an almost perfect manner. The young Belgian, member of the RACB National Team, for the second consecutive season competing...
OSCHERSLEBEN. Laurens Vanthoor kicked off the season in the German ATS F3 Cup, the German national F3 championship in an almost perfect manner. The young Belgian, member of the RACB National Team, for the second consecutive season competing under the banner of Van Amersfoort Racing team clinched both pole positions as also one victory with his Dallara VW . Unfortunately a jump start in race 2 threw a spanner in the works, resulting in Vanthoor not scoring a full 100%. Vanthoor will now be heading off to the second meeting of the year, at the end of May on the Nurburgring, as runner-up in the championship.
On Saturday and Sunday Vanthoor was twice the fastest in the race against the clock. "I'm delighted with the fast lap times. It's not quite the same as winning a race, but it does prove that we have fine-tuned everything, ranging from the driver through to the car and the team.... You can only clinch a pole when all the pieces of the jigsaw fit perfectly."
Shortly after the second qualifying session the drivers were out on track for their first race of the season. Laurens Vanthoor promptly won the opening race of the German ATS F3 Cup, finishing ahead of his Van Amersfoort team-mate, Stef Dusseldorp.
Laurens Vanthoor: "I'm obviously delighted with this victory. I haven't raced for a few months and the opening race of the season is always highly important. I took a perfect start, but after just one lap the Safety Car was out on the track, as the result of a serious accident. We drove for almost half of the race behind the Safety Car, and with the restart I was able to keep my team-mate behind me, controlling the race through to the chequered flag."
"At the start of race 2 I started off some 3 to 4 seconds too soon", a disappointed Laurens Vanthoor told us. "I really don't know what possessed me, there was no abnormal pressure, I was truly focussed and after those strong results obtained earlier during the weekend I was in a pretty good drive. Incomprehensible."
The outcome was that Laurens Vanthoor received a drive through for the jump start and fell back into the lower rankings. "But I never give up and was still able to finish in eleventh place. Luckily for the team my team-mate was able to finish matters off perfectly and we still managed to gain two victories. I'm presently ranked second in the championship and I'm going to do my utmost to make up for today's mistake as quickly as possible and to fully focus on the rest of the championship."
There are some six weeks between the first and second race meeting of the German ATS F3 Cup, to be held on the 24th and 25th May during the weekend of the legendary 24 Hours of the Nurburgring.
Laurens Vanthoor: "We're not going to be sitting around in the meantime and we're going to make good use of this period between these two race meetings to carry on with our test work."