The second of eight events of the 2014 ATS Formula 3 Cup is over. The third of this weekend's races in the support programme of the ADAC GT Masters was all about scoring essential championship points. Once again, Markus Pommer left everybody else behind him on the 3,442-km track at Lausitzring. The pole-sitter from Neckarsulm, who contests for Team Lotus, scored the win and maximum championship points. Malaysian Nabil Jeffri from Team Motopark finished second. Briton Sam MacLeod from Van Amersfoort Racing drove across the finish line in third place.
The formation lap brought about a considerable shake-up in the order of the starting grid. Briton Sam MacLeod (Van Amersfoort Racing) was not able to push forward at the start; Dutchman Indy Dontje behind him had to wait. As a consequence, both started into the race from the back of the field, and pole-sitter Markus Pommer (both Lotus) had a clear run. Behind the driver from Neckarsulm, Russian Nikita Zlobin (SMP Racing by ADM Motorsport) did not have a perfect start. Malaysian Nabil Jeffri (Motopark) overtook him. Dane Nicolai Sylvest (JBR Motorsport & Engineering) followed suit a few laps later. The 16-year could not defend his position and dropped down the order. In the process, Zlobin got another chance for a podium finish. However, MacLeod put him under pressure, followed by Dontje, Malaysian Weiron Tan (Lotus) and Sylvest. Maximilian Hackl (Amkon Motorsport / Dallara F311 OPC) defended his place and did not let Columbian Andrés Méndez (Lotus / all in Dallara F311 Volkswagen) at the back of the grid pass.
MacLeod overtook Zlobin on the inside lane in the twelfth lap. At the same time, Sylvest put pressure on Tan in the last third of the field. Dontje overtook Zlobin in lap 17. However, in the end it is the first race of the season for him without a podium finish.
MacLeod clocked the fastest lap in the final lap, scoring valuable points in addition to his third place. Having grabbed the second place, Jeffri is pleased with the racing weekend. Pommer scored a start-finish victory which extends his lead in the championship.
Markus Pommer: “Well, the car is fantastic. When I make no mistake and stay on the track, it will be difficult to overtake me. The weekend was brilliant apart from a small technical issue, and I am very pleased.”Nabil Jeffri: “The weekend did not work out very well for me, but now I am very happy to be on the podium. Thanks to my team and my sponsors. I know I could have done better but we have to look forward now. I want to win at Red Bull Ring.”Sam MacLeod: “It could have gone a lot better, but I am happy to be on the podium after a not great start of the race. We had the new tyres, I am sure we were in the fight.”
2014 ATS Formula 3 Cup rookie rankingIndy Dontje continues to lead the 2014 rookie ranking, having scored 106 points. Sam MacLeod nearly closed the gap and is now only four points behind the Dutchman. Nicolai Sylvest keeps his third place (66 points).
2014 ATS Formula 3 Cup team rankingLotus remains in the lead with a total of 111 points. However, they have to watch Van Amersfoort Racing who are getting better and remain in second place (87 points). JBR Motorsport & Engineering takes the third place this weekend for the first time after scoring 61 points.
Points scored in the first six 2014 ATS Formula 3 Cup races:1. Markus Pommer / GER 1102. Sam MacLeod / GBR 833. Indy Dontje / NDL 794. Nabil Jeffri / MYS 615. Nicolai Sylvest / DNK 486. Weiron Tan / MYS 327. Andrés Méndez / COL 288. Nikita Zlobin / RUS 229. Sergey Trofimov / RUS 1210. Maximilian Hackl / DEU 10
Off the trackThe ATS Formula 3 Cup welcomed a high-ranking visitor this weekend; the Ambassador from Malaysia came to the Lausitzring in honour of Nabil Jeffri. Dato Salman Ahmad awarded the trophies to the winners of the third race. And Nabil Jeffri was very happy about his second place in the third race. A film crew from his sponsors at Petronas Motorsports flew to Germany for extensive media coverage of the company's protégé. It was also an interesting Sunday for Karsten Krüger and his wife Heike. They had won tickets in a competition organised by the ATS Formula 3 Cup in collaboration with radio station Hitradio SKW. The prize included a look behind the scenes of Formula racing as well as a meet & greet with championship leader Markus Pommer. The absolute highlight was waving the chequered flag at the end of Sunday's ATS Formula 3 Cup race. The ATS Formula 3 Cup has won new fans.
And there is another reason for celebration: Markus Pommer set a new track record in the second race, clocking a lap time of 1.15:109 minutes. This beats the record set by Marvin Kirchhöfer from Team Lotus in 2013.
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., with a repeat on Wednesdays from 02.15 to 02.29 a.m. The Sport1 Magazine also shows four minutes of highlights. They are also available on the ATS Formula 3 Cup YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/f3cup.