F3

ATS: Series Assen preview

Great atmosphere at Assen No doubt: Laurens Vanthoor is on the way to securing the 2009 title. With 96 points on his tally, the 18-year old from Zolder is the dominant ATS Formula 3 Cup Championship leader. Last year, 120 points were enough for...

Great atmosphere at Assen

No doubt: Laurens Vanthoor is on the way to securing the 2009 title. With 96 points on his tally, the 18-year old from Zolder is the dominant ATS Formula 3 Cup Championship leader. Last year, 120 points were enough for Frederic Vervisch to win the title. So, Vanthoor soon could follow the footsteps of his compatriot.

Nonetheless, the Belgian mustn't rest on his laurels, as the form of some of his rivals improves race by race. Nico Monien in particular has displayed a steep performance curve, to date. The 19-year old Formula 3 rookie has adapted to the new environment and started to deliver: at the Nurburgring he secured his maiden podium by finishing third, at Oschersleben he came second - and at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz he completed his streak of success by celebrating his maiden victory. And in each of the latest five races, the motor mechatronics technician from Romerstein, Southern Germany, made it to the podium.

So, the wins in the ten ATS Formula 3 Cup races contested to date have been secured by four drivers: Belgium's Vanthoor, Dutchman Dusseldorp, Swiss girl racer Frey and Germany's Monien. Will a new name be added to this list at Assen? Possibly the one of Harald Schlegelmilch? The Latvian won in 2006 and is going to make his ATS Formula 3 Cup comeback, now. Consequently, you shouldn't underestimate Team HS Technik, in the 11th and 12th rounds of the season. Particularly as the Austrians have demonstrated that Assen's TT Circuit suits them extremely well. They celebrated a race win with Johnny Cecotto, here, and last year they left Assen with another race win under their belts.

The entire field is looking forward to the ATS Formula 3 Cup weekend at Assen, anyway. There, the fastest German single-seater series will be welcomed by packed grandstands and a vibrant atmosphere. Apart from the Motorbike World Championship round, the Rizla Race Day is the biggest motor-racing event held at the rich in tradition circuit located near Groningen. Which comes a no surprise as the programme features a spectacular mix: agile motorbikes, manual-shift karts, brawny touring cars and the sophisticated Formula 3 single-seaters in one event: an unfamiliar mix provided by nearly no other motor-racing event.

"I'm truly looking forward to my home event," says Stef Dusseldorp, "As the crowds certainly will cheer for me." And there is another reason why the lanky 19-year old may be confident. His team, Van Amersfoort Racing, also will be particularly motivated as it is based in the Netherlands, too.

Meanwhile, the situation in the rookie ranking promises particularly thrilling motor racing for the eight rounds to come. Who will win the €10,000 prize money courtesy of ZF and auto motor und sport? The battle between Markus Pommer, Nico Monien sand Stef Dusseldorp is extremely close, with the third-placed driver having just five points less on his tally than the current leader. So, thrilling motor sport is guaranteed when the ATS Formula 3 Cup makes its stop at Assen.

-credit: ats

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series F3
Drivers Harald Schlegelmilch , Laurens Vanthoor , Stef Dusseldorp , Nico Monien , Markus Pommer