Marvin Kirchhofer crowned ATS Formel 3 champion

It was only a theoretical possibility. However, the early retirement of his team-mate gave Marvin Kirchhofer the opportunity to win the championship title early. The exceptionally talented driver defeated 14 competitors from eight countries again, cruising to victory in the first race of the weekend in Oschersleben. As a result, none of the rivals of the 19-year old from Leipzig will be able to close the gap of 124 points in the five remaining races of the season. Sebastian Balthasar from Cologne won the Trophy ranking.

Pole sitter Marvin Kirchhofer from Leipzig (Lotus / Dallara F311 Volkswagen Power Engine) had a fantastic start. Narrowly defending his second start position against Swede John Bryant-Meisner (Performance Racing / Dallara F311 Volkswagen Power Engine), American Gustavo Menezes (Van Amersfoort Racing / Dallara F311 Volkswagen Power Engine) headed into the first turn in second place. After a tough battle with his team-mate, Briton Emil Bernstoff, Russian Artem Markelov (both Lotus / Dallara F311 Volkswagen Power Engine) got the short end of the stick, which resulted in his early retirement. It was particularly bitter after his double victory at Lausitzring at the last racing weekend. Consequently, Kirchhöfer was champion. Bryant-Meisner passed the Californian later on in the race and started to hunt the leading car. However, the championship leader broke away, cruising to victory in the first race of the weekend. Bryant-Meisner followed eleven seconds behind him; Menezes took the third podium place.

Podium for IannacconeSebastian Balthasar from Cologne grabbed the victory once again, even though he started from the back of the field. Freddy Killensberger from Wortelstetten (GU-Racing / Dallara F307 OPC-Challenge) followed in second place. Luca Iannaccone (Rennsport Rössler / Dallara F307 OPC-Challenge) was on the podium for the very first time, in third place.

Marvin Kirchhofer: “I had a really good start. When I saw that Artem had retired I knew that it would be enough for the title if I just continued like that. I cannot believe it yet. But I am extremely happy and I am really glad that we will have two more cool races today and tomorrow. The pressure is off, even though I have a clear goal when I start from the first row.”

John Bryant-Meisner: “I had a good start, even though Gustavo was in front of me in the first turn. Overtaking was really difficult, but I was able to overtake Gustavo, using the push-to-pass system. What a great battle.”

Gustavo Menezes: “I did not have a great start. And I had to deal with the consequences throughout the race. John passed me pretty nicely; I give him credit for that. I have a feeling that everything will work out better in the next few races.”Sebastian Balthasar: “I drove consistently and passed everybody else in my ranking. Even though we tried out a new set-up, which is not perfect yet, we were fast enough. I’m very pleased.”