F3

ATS: Series Oschersleben preview

Showdown in the Borde region While the 2008 ATS Formula 3 Cup Champion has been found, the battle for the runner-up position is far from being over. Frederic Vervisch secured the title on the Sachsenring weekend but four drivers still may...

Showdown in the Borde region

While the 2008 ATS Formula 3 Cup Champion has been found, the battle for the runner-up position is far from being over. Frederic Vervisch secured the title on the Sachsenring weekend but four drivers still may hope for finishing second in the championship. And as the margin between the four drivers is slim, one may expect to witness close and thrilling motor racing, in the season finale.

The venue of the final race weekend of the ATS Formula 3 Cup season will be the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben. And the conditions are clear: the runner-up position is the only thing that counts. While finishing third isn't regarded as success. Over the course of the weekend, a maximum of 24 points can be scored by securing two race wins, two pole positions and setting two fastest race laps. The protagonists in the battle for the runner-up position: Colombia's Sebastian Saavedra, Johnny Cecotto from Venezuela, Italian Matteo Chinosi and Belgium's Laurens Vanthoor. The margin: 11 points.

Laurens Vanthoor is convinced: "My chances aren't that bad." The 17-year old Belgian relies on his impressive upward trend. In the last six races, the 17-year old rookie secured four second places and a race win. At the same time, fifth-placed Vanthoor has to close the biggest gap if he wants to finish second. Having scored 73 points to date, fourth-placed Matteo Chinosi has got just one point more on his tally - but the experienced Italian wants to make it back to the top: "I dominated the championship for quite a while and held the lead until Vervisch started his streak of success. And now, having lost the chance of winning the title, finishing runner-up is the minimum I want to achieve."

Nonetheless, the drivers with the best chances of coming second are the Team HS Technik team-mates Saavedra and Cecotto. "It goes without saying that prevailing in this battle represents the ultimate goal for both of us," reveals Johnny Cecotto. "We get on well with one another but none of us is ready to give something away." The Venezuelan is the clearly more experienced driver, however, Saavedra also is aware of his skills and opportunities. "Experience is important but not necessarily crucial," the Colombian says. "Johnny and I have got the same chances. We both know the track at Oschersleben as we have raced there this spring and we have scored a similar amount of points." Right he is: Saavedra has got 83 points on his tally, Cecotto 82.

In addition to the battle for the runner-up position in the championship, there are three other rankings waiting for their winners, such as the 'ZF - auto motor und sport - Juniorpokal'. Here, the best Germany's Kevin Mirocha can do is drawing level with the current leader while Saavedra and Vanthoor probably will be the ones to battle it out for the prize money of €10,000. Saavedra has got 111 points on his tally, Vanthor 102 - and there are another 20 points to be scored, in the season finale.

Meanwhile, there still are three drivers that may hope to win the title in the Trophy ranking, contested with elder-spec cars: Dutchman Dennis Swart (105 points) as well as the two Austrians Marco Oberhauser (103) and Bernd Herndlhofer (100). And there is the fourth ranking, courtesy of AvD: here, points are awarded for every pole position and every fastest race lap.

The ATS Formula 3 Cup is on its way to a thrilling and spectacular season finale and the 17th and 18th rounds will underline the significance of this aspiring championship: remarkable competitiveness on the grid, a variety of brands involved, professional teams, drivers from all around the world and a tightly represent the basis for the success.

-credit: formel3.de

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Series F3
Drivers Johnny Cecotto , Sebastian Saavedra , Frederic Vervisch , Kevin Mirocha , Laurens Vanthoor , Matteo Chinosi