The German Formula 3 kicked off the final event of the season with the first race of the ATS Formula 3 Cup in the support programme of the ADAC GT Masters today. Indy Dontje from Team Lotus had claimed the pole position for the first time. The 21-year old Dutchman does not only have a chance to take the runner-up title, Dontje also decided the rookie championship in his favour by grabbing second place. Malaysian Weiron Tan from Van Amersfoort Racing handled the 4.574-km Hockenheimring best and claimed his first win in the ATS Formula 3 Cup. Dane Nicolai Sylvest from JBR Motorsport & Engineering clinched third place in a heart-stopping finish.
Dutchman Indy Dontje (Dallara F311 Volkswagen) made a good start and broke away. Malaysian Weiron Tan (Van Amersfoort Racing / Dallara F311 Volkswagen) stayed on his tail though after moving up from fifth to second at the start. The safety car was deployed following a crash of Nikita Zlobin (ADM Motorsport / Dallara F311 Volkswagen) and Sam MacLeod (Van Amersfoort Racing / Dallara F311 Volkswagen). It resulted in an early retirement for both of them. The Briton lost out on crucial points in the fight for the runner-up title and also lost his chance of scoring the rookie title. Tan was able to pass Dontje, who also lost his place to Markus Pommer (Lotus / Dallara F311 Volkswagen) afterwards. Having won the championship title, Pommer did not sit back and relax. He overtook Tan. A drive-through penalty set the ATS Formula 3 Cup champion back. He rejoined the race in fifth place behind Nikolai Sylvest (JBR Motorsport & Engineering / Dallara F311 Volkswagen). Shortly before the end of the race, Sylvest and his competitor Nabil Jeffri (Motopark / Dallara F311 Volkswagen) were involved in a tough battle. The Dane overtook the Malaysian and fought hard to defend his new position. However, Jeffri proved to be a real challenge. Both provided a lot of excitement until they saw the chequered flag. Sylvest defended his third place until the end; Dontje finished second and consequently wins the rookie championship. Tan celebrated his first win of the season. A new line-up on the podium of the German Formula 3.
The young drivers will contest race 2 on Sunday at 10.45 a.m., with Maximilian Hackl from Ruderting Maximilian Hackl (Amkon Motorsport / Dallara F311 OPC) being the pole-sitter, followed by the finale at 4.50 p.m. with Jeffri in pole position.
Weiron Tan: “The team really deserves it. They have worked so hard throughout the night. We had a good enough pace in the qualifying to be in the first row. We still have a lot of work to do for tomorrow.”Indy Dontje: “It was a good race. I had an engine problem at the end, but I am really pleased with the result. I was very happy when I heard that I won the rookie title. It feels really good. Being the best rookie in the ATS Formula 3 Cup is something to be proud of.”Nicolai Sylvest: “I did not know when the final lap was exactly. That's why I made a mistake, Nabil got very close to me. Still, I was able to defend my place. That was really exciting.”