Colombia defeats Venezuela Season finale in Oschersleben This weekend at Oschersleben, the ATS Formula 3 Cup contested its 17th and 18th rounds to successfully complete its sixth season. Although Frederic Vervisch had secured the championship ...
Colombia defeats Venezuela Season finale in Oschersleben
This weekend at Oschersleben, the ATS Formula 3 Cup contested its 17th and 18th rounds to successfully complete its sixth season. Although Frederic Vervisch had secured the championship title as early as on the penultimate race weekend, the season finale at Oschersleben provided enthralling motor racing and was anything but boring. Three drivers - Sebastian Saavedra, Johnny Cecotto and Laurens Vanthoor - made for a close battle for the runner-up position in the championship and at the same time, the battle for the ATS Formula 3 Trophy and the rookie title also weren't over. Consequently, every single point added to a driver's tally could prove to be crucial!
In the end, Sebastian Saavedra was the one to get the upper hand - and even did so twice! By winning on Saturday while Vanthoor was forced into retirement and Kevin Mirocha failed to secure a good result, Saavedra early secured the €10,000 'ZF - auto motor und sport - Juniorpokal'. At the end of the day, he prevailed with 129 points on his tally, with Vanthoor (112) and Mirocha (98) finishing second and third respectively.
And on Sunday afternoon, the 'Saavedra Festival' was continued. In the dramatic final round of the season, the Colombian finished third behind his team-mate Johnny Cecotto, thus securing the runner-up position in the championship - in his first ATS Formula 3 Cup season. Following this result, both drivers had scored a total of 99 points but Saavedra had one win more under his belt than the Venezuelan. Cecotto had given his very best to pass Vanthoor and win the race but the Belgian succeeded in keeping Cecotto at bay and celebrating his second win of the season. And Cecotto's effort to add another point to his tally by setting the fastest race lap also failed - by just 0.064 seconds. "What an incredible season finale," beamed Saavedra. "To win the rookie title and finish second in the championship - just fantastic!"
Meanwhile, the battle for the Trophy title also probed to be thrilling and spectacular. Dutchman Dennis Swart (105 points) travelled to Oschersleben as Trophy leader, with Austrians Marco Oberhauser (102) and Bernd Herndlhofer (100) following close behind. In the first race, Swart had to pit following a collision and lost valuable time. He could rejoin the race but had to settle with securing just two points while Oberhauser won the race and Herndlhofer finished runner-up.
Consequently, Swart had dropped back to third position. And then, on Sunday, the first lap proved to be crucial, with Oberhauser and Swart colliding slightly and dropping back to the end of the field. "I rejoined the race behind Dennis," said the Austrian after the race, "And then, we jointly worked our way back up." By doing so, the Austrian came closer and closer to securing the title - and in the end, he made it. "I'm truly delighted with having realised my season goal," he said. And Knud Rieser, his Neuhauser Racing Team Principal, rewarded him with the promise: "Now he will get the chance of executing extensive tests at the wheel of our Cup car."
Following a break of seven race weekends, Austria's Philipp Eng made his ATS Formula 3 Cup comeback, in the season finale. In the opening stages of the season, he had demonstrated his skills with extremely fast lap times but also attracted attention by mulling two starts. At Oschersleben, he raced the blue Ombra Racing Dallara and tied in with his fine season-opener performances by finishing third and fourth respectively. "The deal was signed just very few days prior to the Oschersleben weekend," revealed Eng. "We did not even have enough time for a test. I just made a trip to the team on Tuesday for a seat-fitting session."
The ATS Formula 3 Cup season finale at Oschersleben once again underlined the series' impressive attractiveness: the grid featured drivers from 16 countries, driving single-seaters powered by engines supplied by five manufacturers and entered by teams from nine different nations. All things considered, the ATS Formula 3 Cup is on the way into a great future. And the new season will begin where this year's ended: from 10th to 12th April, at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben.