It promises to be a hot weekend for the ATS Formula 3 Cup in the support programme of the ADAC GT Masters, not only considering today's temperatures. Nine drivers from seven countries battled for the fastest lap in 29 degrees Celsius and under dry conditions. Markus Pommer from Neckarsulm, who is currently leading the overall standings, outshone everyone and scored the fastest lap on the 3.442-km track at Eurospeedway Lausitz. The Lotus driver will start into the first and third race from the pole position. Nabil Jeffri from Team Motopark will be in second position for race 1. Russian Nikita Zlobin from SMP Racing by ADM Motorsport will start from third place.
The new season of the ATS Formula 3 Cup is still young, with only the second round taking place this weekend. However, Markus Pommer (Lotus) seems to be on his way to become the new top contender for a possible championship win in the ATS Formula 3 Cup. After scoring the pole position in the first qualifying of the season at Oschersleben, the driver from Neckarsulm was fastest again today. None of his competitors were able to undercut his 1.15:122 minutes, even though some came close.
Battling hard for a top position, Briton Sam MacLeod (Van Amersfoort Racing) scored the second fastest time in the end. However, the 19-year old subsequently received a three-place grid penalty for a dangerous manoeuvre. Malaysian Nabil Jeffri (Team Motopark), who is currently second in the overall standings, set the fastest lap in today's free practice session. In the qualifying he remained in the middle of the field for a long time. His fastest lap was also his final lap because he kicked himself off of the qualifying.
Nonetheless, the Petronas protégé from Kuala Lumpur grabbed the third fastest time in the end and moved up to second. Russian Nikita Zlobin (SMP Racing by ADM Motorsport) also put in a great performance and will start into the first race from third place. Dutchman Indy Dontje (Lotus), Malaysian Weiron Tan (Van Amersfoort Racing) and Dane Nikolai Sylvest (JBR Motorsport & Engineering / all in Dallara F311 Volkswagen) made an impression scoring fast times. Nevertheless, they took positions at the end of the field with Maximilian Hackl (Amkon Motorsport / Dallara F311 OPC).
As a result, Pommer, Jeffri and Zlobin will be in the first three places for race one. In race three it will be Pommer, MacLeod, Zlobin. The lights will go out for the first race of the ATS Formula 3 Cup on Saturday at 10.35 am.
Markus Pommer: “The car is brilliant; the team does a great job. It was a tough battle; my team-mates are getting better and better. I had hoped that I would be first but it is just not a sure thing.”
Sam MacLeod: “It was pretty good. I am really happy about the job we did. It could be a little bit better next time, but tomorrow the start will be the most important thing, to get off the line well and then we will see.”
Nabil Jeffri: “I was just pushing too much, but third place is not too bad for a crash. For tomorrow I want to find the pace to end in top 3.”