Hard-fought victory for Markus Pommer in third ATS Formula 3 Cup race

Hot was the fitting description for the weather at Red Bull Ring just like it was for the third race of the ATS Formula 3 Cup in the support programme of the ADAC GT Masters. The international starting grid put a lot of pressure on pole-sitter Markus Pommer from Team Lotus. It was not an easy task; still the driver from Neckarsulm claimed another start-finish victory. Contesting for Motopark, Nabil Jeffri successfully completed his race and took the second place in the end. Third on the podium is Indy Dontje from the Netherlands, the current leader in the rookie ranking.

The entire grid got off to a good start and chased pole-sitter Markus Pommer (Lotus). Fighting off Briton Sam MacLeod and Malaysian Weiron Tan (both Van Amersfoort Racing) proved to be a difficult task for the driver from Neckarsulm for quite a while. Nabil Jeffri from Kuala Lumpur (Motopark) and Dutchman Indy Dontje (Lotus) also kept up with the top group. Behind them followed Dane Nicolai Sylvest (JBR Motorsport & Engineering), Andrés Méndez from Columbia (Lotus), Nikita Zlobin from Moscow (SMP Racing by ADM Motorsport / all in Dallara F311 Volkswagen), Maximilian Hackl from Ruderting (Amkon Motorsport / Dallara F311 OPC) and Luca Iannacone from Rome (Franz Wöss Racing / Dallara F308 OPC). Sylvest successfully defended his position against Méndez, who attacked the 16-year old several times.

MacLeod kept up with Pommer at the top, who did not manage to extend the gap to the Briton. Tan could not defend his position against Jeffri and Dontje and dropped down the order. However, he then stayed on the Dutchman's tail. Jeffri drove with the knife between the teeth and had no problems passing the 16-year old Briton, who later missed the podium as a result of a drive-through penalty. The Petronas protégé from Malaysia started to chase Pommer, who benefited from the battles behind him and was able to grow a gap.

After a difficult race for Pommer, the 23-year old extended his lead thanks to his start-finish-victory in today's race. Having finished second, Jeffri moves two places up in the championship again. Dontje scored further points as a result of his third place today.

Markus Pommer: “Perhaps I overheated the tyres a little at the start. Nothing seemed to work in the first four or five laps. We all had a slipstream. The wind on the long straight up the slope is like a wall. I was lucky when Nabil and Sam battled. It gave me a chance to grow a gap.”

Nabil Jeffri: “I achieved my goal for the weekend. I wanted to score three podium finishes. The race was really good with great overtaking manoeuvres. I really enjoyed it thanks to the great work of my team.”

Indy Dontje: “My gear cut broke right after the start. Therefore, it was difficult to change gears. It was still a great race with a fantastic pace. Without this problem, I probably would have done even better.”

2014 ATS Formula 3 Cup rookie rankingIndy Dontje claimed his first victory this weekend and also scored two three places. As a result, he has scored 166 championship points so far. Sam MacLeod is second in the 2014 rookie ranking (127 points), and Nicolai Sylvest is third with a total of 95 points.

2014 ATS Formula 3 Cup team rankingThanks to the results scored by Markus Pommer and Indy Dontje, Lotus remain in the lead with 171 points. Van Amersfoort Racing continues to be second (120 points). Having scored 103 points, Motopark is back in third place.

Points scored in the first nine 2014 ATS Formula 3 Cup races (top 10):1. Markus Pommer / GER 1732. Indy Dontje / NDL 1193. Nabil Jeffri / MYSIndy Dontje / NDL 1054. Sam MacLeod / GBR 995. Nicolai Sylvest / DNK 636. Weiron Tan / MYS 517. Andrés Méndez / COL 478. Nikita Zlobin / RUS 309. Maximilian Hackl / DEU 2010. Santino Ferrucci / USA 15

Off the trackA comprehensive collaboration with the MSC Spielberg marked the weekend at Red Bull Ring. The officials of the ATS Formula 3 Cup invited 17 kids aged 12 to 18 from the SOS Children's Village in Klagenfurt and their group leaders to the racetrack. They started off exploring Red Bull Ring in their new fan t-shirts of the German single-seater series and made big eyes when Michael Schriefl of the MSC Spielberg led them on a guided tour through the race control centre, the media centre and the medical centre. Afterwards, Guido Wenzel of the ATS Formula 3 Cup took them to the starting grid formation of the ADAC GT Masters, where they took a picture with Albert von Thurn und Taxis. The kids had a chance to bombard the drivers contesting the ATS Formula 3 Cup with questions when Helmut Perchtold of the MSC Spielberg, who accompanied them throughout the day, took them to the paddock of the single-seater series. A thoroughly exciting day for the kids. All of this was made possible by the ADAC, but first and foremost by Werner Platzer of the MSC Spielberg, who does everything to support children. Chairman Jürgen Büsel took the opportunity to declare an official friendship with the ATS Formula 3 Cup. Thank you, MSC Spielberg!

The ATS Formula 3 Cup on TVThe “ran Racing” magazine programme on Kabel 1 will include two minutes of highlights. The programme is broadcast on Monday mornings from 02.15 to 02.30 a.m. The Sport1 Magazine also shows four minutes of highlights on Friday. They are also available on the ATS Formula 3 Cup YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/f3cup.