Markus Pommer from Neckarsulm could only have beaten himself today. The leader of the overall ranking cruised to victory in the race at the 3.629-km track version of the Nürburgring. Malaysian Nabil Jeffri took the chequered flag behind him. Putting in a fantastic performance, Dane Nicolai Sylvest finished third. The first race of the ATS Formula 3 Cup at the fifth racing weekend was packed with several jump starts and exciting wheel-to-wheel duels of the twelve contestants.
Four drivers made a jump start to the 30-minute race. Consequently, Malaysian Weiron Tan (Van Amersfoort Racing / Dallara F311 Volkswagen) was ahead of pole-sitter Markus Pommer from Neckarsulm (Lotus / Dallara F311 Volkswagen). The leader of the overall ranking had a clear run once the 19-year old from Kuala Lumpur served his drive-though penalty. Dutchman Indy Dontje (Lotus / Dallara F311 Volkswagen) followed in second place but struggled to close the gap. He had to concede his position to Malaysian Nabil Jeffri (Motopark / Dallara F311 Volkswagen), since he also had to serve a drive-through penalty. This provided the perfect opportunity for Dane Nicolai Sylvest (JBR Motorsport & Engineering / Dallara F311 Volkswagen) to score a podium finish.
Behind them, several drivers battled hard for eighth place, which would result in the pole position for the second race. Dontje grabbed the position from Maximilian Hackl from Ruderting (Amkon Motorsport / Dallara F311 OPC). However, he did not take Briton Sam MacLeod (Van Amersfoort Racing / Dallara F311 Volkswagen) into account. Both were forced to retire from the race after a collision. In the end, Russian Nikita Zlobin (SMP Racing by ADM Motorsport / Dallara F311 Volkswagen) took the pole position. Swiss Thomas Amweg (Jo Zeller Racing / Dallara F311 Mercedes) put in a phenomenal performance. In the final minute of the race he lost the battle for fifth against Tan and then successfully defended his place against Chinese Kang Ling (ADM Motorsport / Dallara F311 Volkswagen).
Having won his eighth race today, Pommer extended his lead in the championship over Jeffri, who is second in the overall ranking. 16-year old Sylvest claimed a fantastic third place after his team was able to repair the engine yesterday which failed on Thursday.
Markus Pommer: “Once Weiron was not ahead of me any longer I pushed. The gap on the cars behind was big and I knew it would work out. I just had to bring the place home.”Nabil Jeffri: I am always happy to be on the podium, but I wanted to close the gap to Markus in the battle for the title. Initially, I struggled to find my line in the race. I try to make the best of it and to finish both races second.”Nicolai Sylvest: “I feel great. I'd never have thought that I'd finish third in the end considering that I was in seventh place for a long time. My entire team and I worked really hard for this.”