The fourth of eight rounds of the ATS Formula 3 Cup kicked off yesterday with the qualifying session in sweltering temperatures. The races within this weekend's “Stuttgarter Rössle” at Hockenheimring, which is organised by the MCS Stuttgart, will determine who clinches the half-time title. The current leader of the overall ranking, Markus Pommer from Team Lotus, clocked the second fastest time in the qualifying session at the 4.575-km Hockenheimring. He was defeated by Nabil Jeffri, who contests for Motopark. The Malaysian is very excited about his first pole position in his career in German Formula 3. Contesting for Lotus, Indy Dontje will start into the race tomorrow from third place.
Nabil Jeffri from Kuala Lumpur (Motopark / Dallara F311 Volkswagen) had a fantastic start into the 30-minute qualifying session, clocking the fastest time right away. However, championship leader Markus Pommer from Neckarsulm (Lotus / Dallara F311 Volkswagen) followed suit and grabbed the pole position from the Petronas protégé. Behind them Dutchman Indy Dontje (Lotus / Dallara F311 Volkswagen) defended his place. The youngest driver in the grid, 16-year old Santino Ferrucci (Eurointernational / Dallara F311 Mercedes) from the U.S., secured a good fourth place in the end. Dino Zamparelli from Great Britain (ADM Motorsport / Dallara F311 Volkswagen) took eighth place in his ATS Formula 3 Cup debut. The driver, who contests the GP3 series, was 1.3 seconds behind the fastest driver of the qualifying, Nabil Jeffri. The 20-year old Malaysian clocked the fastest time (1:34.194 minutes) which secured him the pole position for the first race Saturday. Markus Pommer will be the pole-sitter in race 3 on Sunday. Nabil Jeffri will be alongside him in the starting grid, with Indy Dontje in third place again.
Who will score the half-time title?The first ATS Formula 3 Cup race of the weekend will start at 12.45 p.m. tomorrow, with the second race following at 5.35 p.m. After the race on Sunday at 1.25 p.m. the half-time title of the 2014 season will have been awarded. Currently, Markus Pommer, Nabil Jeffri and Indy Dontje have a chance to succeed.
Nabil Jeffri: “It feels really good. This is my first pole position this year. I need to win the race tomorrow. It is so important to me and the entire team. That's my goal.”
Markus Pommer: “Second place is perfectly fine. I lost air from the tyres in the first run, and I just did not succeed in the second run. I lacked today's practice session; I only completed a few laps on old tyres.”
Indy Dontje: “It is just like at Oschersleben, the entire team is doing great. I wanted to be close to both Markus and Nabil, the experienced drivers, and I succeeded. My goal is to score another win this weekend.”