Twelve drivers from ten countries battled for the first victory of the weekend at the 4.574-km Hockenheimring today. Nabil Jeffri handled the high-speed track best during the race in the support programme of the “Stuttgarter Rössle” event. Consequently, the Motopark driver was on the very top of the podium for the first time after a dominant lights-to-flag victory. Markus Pommer from Team Lotus finished second, with team-mate Indy Dontje following in third place.
Malaysian Nabil Jeffri (Motopark) was the pole-sitter for the first time in today's race which took place in dry conditions. The Petronas protégé had Markus Pommer on his tail. However, the driver from Neckarsulm did not manage to pass him despite a tough battle for positions. Dutchman Indy Dontje (both Lotus) followed in third place. Briton Sam MacLeod in P5 was determined to overtake his team-mate Weiron Tan from Malaysia (both Van Amersfoort Racing) in order to move to the top. However, just like at Red Bull Ring, the 19-year old had a hard time staying within the track limits and subsequently received a drive-through penalty. Dane Nicolai Sylvest (JBR Motorsport & Engineering / all in Dallara F311 Volkswagen) had to drive through the pitlane once as well, finishing eighth in the end. As a result, he will be the pole-sitter in race 2 at 5.35 this afternoon.The drivers at the end of the field were also involved in exciting battles. Maximilian Hackl from Ruderting (Amkon Motorsport / Dallara F311 OPC) gave his best to defend his position against Russian Nikita Zlobin (SMP Racing by ADM Motorsport / Dallara F311 Volkswagen) but had to let the 18-year old driver from Moscow pass after all.
The field continued to stretch at the high-speed track while the top group completed lap by lap, driving across the finish line without any changes in the order. Dontje is in third place with Pommer, who scored a new track record, ahead of him. Jeffri celebrates his debut victory.
Nabil Jeffri: “It feels very, very good. My start was really good. I just had to push Markus a little bit, but I could make my pace and did not make any mistakes. I was very consistent throughout the race. So I am really very happy.”
Markus Pommer: “I actually had a better start than Nabil. I was right alongside him in turn two. He pushed me into the grass a little. Perhaps he didn't see me. And then I was faster but I could not move up to him on the straight even though I had slipstream. My engineer told me to just finish the race because I had the fastest lap anyway.”
Indy Dontje: “It is really a good place, but I had some problems with the engine again. We have to check this. Overall my pace is ok. We put a good gap to Weiron and to Sam, so we became quicker. I am really happy with the result and take the points. The gap in the rookie championship is getting bigger and bigger.”