Changeable conditions in the Lausitz region Following its appearance within the scope of the FIA GT Championship, the ATS Formula 3 Cup returned to its regular environment. On the first weekend of July, the fastest German single-seater series ...
Changeable conditions in the Lausitz region
Following its appearance within the scope of the FIA GT Championship, the ATS Formula 3 Cup returned to its regular environment. On the first weekend of July, the fastest German single-seater series contested its ninth and tenth rounds as part of the ADAC Masters Weekend held at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz. From the drivers' point of view, the Eastern German 3.442-kilometre circuit is one of the most challenging venues on the calendar. One thing is clear: those who haven't tested here, in the run-up to an event, will encounter a difficult weekend.
Furthermore, the weather conditions also added to the challenge. On Friday, at temperatures of more than 30o. C, focusing proved to be a difficult task for the drivers while finding the right air pressure for the tyres also was anything but easy. On Saturday, torrential rain around noon made for a flooded racetrack - and on Sunday, the sun was back burning.
The traditional Formula 3 Association barbecue evening on Friday did not only attract the teams and drivers alone but also many Formula 3 friends. In summery conditions, everybody had a lot of fun - particularly as the Race-and-Rent service team had made for live music.
Shock for Racing Experience: Team Principal Christian Hauser suffered a heavy electric shock due to a broken cable - but survived the incident virtually unharmed. His stay in the Senftenberg hospital was arranged only for safety reasons. Hauser was back in time for the second qualifying session.
Due to his contract conditions, Dominik Schraml didn't contest the EuroSpeedway rounds. So far, Team STROMOS ARTLINE had signed the German just for the first rounds of the season but now, the partners are negotiating further Schraml appearances at the wheel of the Russian team's car.
Shirley van der Lof's race weekend came to a sudden and early end on Friday. In the qualifying session she was involved in an incident with Bernd Herndlhofer. While van der Lof tried to pass the Austrian, the wheels of the two cars interlocked, van der Lof's single-seater got airborne - and somersaulted. The pretty blonde survived the accident unharmed but the monocoque of her Dallara F307 Mercedes suffered a crack. And according to the regulations, such a damage mustn't be repaired on site.
Luca Iannaccone celebrated two podium finishes. The Roman finished third in both Formula 3 Trophy races.
The comeback of the weekend
The comeback of the weekend definitely was delivered by Markus Pommer - in race one. Following the qualifying session, the tank of the 18-year old young gun's car didn't contain the amount of fuel stipulated by the regulations and therefore, he was penalised and had to start the race from the end of the field. But then, Pommer really went for it. At the end of lap he crossed the line in 12th position, in the closing stages of the race he held seventh behind Rahel Frey - and on the final lap, he even worked his way up to sixth. Altogether, the German gained 14 positions.
Driver of the weekend
This title goes to Nico Monien. The 19-year old was the first German since Christian Vietoris to win an ATS Formula 3 Cup round. Vietoris had done so in 2007 at the Sachsenring and Monien celebrated his maiden win after having secured four third places and one runner-up finish. The upward trend of the native Berliner is obvious.
For quite a while it seemed as if anything would once again go according to plan, for Laurens Vanthoor. At first he secured both pole positions and on Saturday, he celebrated his fourth consecutive win - with his toughest rival in the championship, his team-mate Stef Dusseldorp - holding second position for a long time. But then, the Dutchman wanted too much, went off and skidded over the grass. Rafael Suzuki moved up to the runner-up position, with Nico Monien also benefiting from the incident by finishing third.
On Sunday, however, Laurens Vanthoor surprisingly displayed some weaknesses. Nico Monien made the better start and from his third position on the grid, he virtually rocketed away to take the lead. In the following 30 minutes, the German drove a flawless race and consequently, Vanthoor hadn't the slightest chance of regaining the lead. While Stef Dusseldorp finished third, thus making an end to his streak of three mulled races.
Vanthoor succeeded in again extending his championship lead, at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz. With 96 points on his tally, he now holds a 42-point lead over Dusseldorp (54). Behind the Dutchman, however, the situation is far closer. Dusseldorp's lead over third placed Suzuki adds up to just eight points, with Frey and Monien following another point behind.
In the ZF - auto motor und sport - Juniorpokal, Monien and Pommer have succeeded in passing Dusseldorp. With 76 points on his tally, Pommer holds the lead in the rookie ranking, with Nico Monien (73) and Dusseldorp (71) following in second and third positions respectively.
In the ATS Formula 3 Trophy, Sergey Chukanov secured his seventh and eighth wins of the season. He now has scored a total of 90 points and holds a 24-point lead over second-placed Francesco Lopez. Mika Vahamaki follows in third position, three points behind the Italo-German.