Impressive pairing Following the guest appearance within the scope of the Nurburgring 24-Hour Race, the ATS Formula 3 Cup was back in its usual environment - the ADAC Masters Weekend - at the Hockenheimring. In addition to the well-known series...
Following the guest appearance within the scope of the Nurburgring 24-Hour Race, the ATS Formula 3 Cup was back in its usual environment - the ADAC Masters Weekend - at the Hockenheimring. In addition to the well-known series the aspiring event package usually comprises, the programme of the Hockenheim weekend held in early June also featured a guest-appearance of the British Formula 3 Championship. A premiere: never before, the two competitive national series contested races within the scope of one and the same event. And while the Britons travelled to the continent wit a 19-car grid, the ATS Formula 3 Cup field comprised 22 cars.
Renger van der Zande who contested the 2007 Formula 3 Cup season now causes a stir in the British Formula 3 Championship. Despite having missed the first two rounds, the Dutchman already holds seventh position in the championship. And the two runner-up finishes he secured at the Hockenheimring represented another boost for his confidence.
For Cup leader Laurens Vanthoor, the weekend offered the chance of establishing contact to Carlin Motorsport, the British squad he is going to race for in the legendary Formula 3 Masters at Zandvoort, this weekend. "That's a new and major challenge for me," says the 17-year old. "Despite being a Dutchman and living not too far from Zandvoort, I haven't raced there, to date. Furthermore, the team, car and tyres also are totally new, for me."
In his usual ATS Formula 3 Cup environment, however, Vanthoor feels truly comfortable. At Hockenheim's Grand Prix Circuit, the two Van Amersfoort Racing drivers - Vanthoor and his team-mate Stef Dusseldorp - proved to be a class of their own, with each of them securing a race win and a runner-up finish. And they also shared the extra points for the fastest race laps and the pole positions - nearly. On Saturday, in the first qualifying session, Brazilian Rafael Suzuki proved to be the quickest.
With six of the 18 rounds of the 2009 season contested Vanthoor now has got a massive 51 points on his tally, followed by Dusseldorp with 44 points. While Swiss Rahel Frey (37 points) slightly lost the contact to the leader.
Nonetheless, Jo Zeller obviously has got what it takes to find young skilled drivers. This weekend, the Swiss entered a second car - for his compatriot Urs Ruttimann. And the young gun made perfect use of the professional environment and caused a stir by finishing third in the ATS Formula 3 Trophy, in both rounds. While Sergey Chukanov keeps on dominating this internal ranking. The Ukrainian has won all the six races contested to date but has to keep an eye on Francesco Lopez, nevertheless. After all, the Italo-German also has gut an impressive five podium finishes under his belt.
In the 'ZF - auto motor und sport - Juniorpokal', Stef Dusseldorp defended his lead with 48 points on his tally. At Hockenheim, the Dutchman once again scored full points. Nonetheless, his lead over his closest chaser is anything but comfortable. Just four points behind the Dutchman, Markus Pommer waits for his chance of stealing the lead. And the German may be proud of an exclusive streak of success as he scored in every race of the season to date. Behind him, his compatriot and team-mate Nico Monien (35 points) holds third position.