The final race of the fifth racing weekend of the ATS Formula 3 Cup in the support programme of the ADAC GT Masters was the first one on a wet track. It took a long time to dry in temperatures of about 13 degrees Celsius, and the drivers struggled to keep their cars on the track. Markus Pommer from Neckarsulm handled the 3.629-km track at Nürburgring best. The Team Lotus driver left Briton Sam MacLeod from Van Amersfoort Racing behind him in second place. Finishing third, Malaysian Nabil Jeffri from Team Motopark joined them on the podium.
Off to a good start from pole position, Markus Pommer from Neckarsulm (Lotus / Dallara F311 Volkswagen) took the lead. Briton Sam MacLeod (Van Amersfoort Racing / Dallara F311 Volkswagen) moved up one place right way, leaving Dutchman Indy Dontje (Lotus / Dallara F311 Volkswagen) in third place. In pursuit were Nabil Jeffri from Kuala Lumpur (Motopark / Dallara F311 Volkswagen), London-based Malaysian Weiron Tan (Van Amersfoort Racing / Dallara F311 Volkswagen) and Dane Nicolai Sylvest (JBR Motorsport & Engineering / Dallara F311 Volkswagen), who claimed his debut victory in the morning.
Staying on MacLeod's tail, Dontje battled hard for second place. The 21-year old tried to overtake in a 'coup de main' but lost the battle and spun, which cost him the podium finish. MacLeod could sit back while Jeffri moved into third place. Dontje was the unlucky fourth-place finisher, while the three podium contenders cruised to the finish line.
The track started to dry at the end of the race. This could have been an opportunity for the ATS Formula 3 Cup newcomer, Chinese Kang Ling (ADM Motorsport / Dallara F311 Volkswagen). The Chinese was the only driver on slick tyres. He remained in the second-to-last position for the major part of the race. The 17-year old from Shanghai did not manage to gain any places. However, he scored the fastest lap in his final lap.
Markus Pommer: “My start was good. I pushed hard in the first few laps in order to break away. Then, I just wanted to drive a controlled race. But I realised that it is not easy at all. Sam put me under a lot of pressure. I tried to stay two seconds ahead of him.”Sam MacLeod: “The first half of the race was really good. I put Markus under pressure but he kept calm. The track started to dry then and my tyres started to deteriorate. Indy put me under a lot of pressure. However, he made a small mistake and I had a good gap to the driver behind me. Another solid race.”Nabil Jeffri: “I scored quite a few points and extended the gap to Indy. That's the most important thing for me right now. Winning the championship will be difficult. Markus is doing a really good job.”
2014 ATS Formula 3 Cup rookie rankingIndy Dontje defended his first place in the Rookie ranking this weekend. The Dutchman leads with 241 points to the 212 of Sam MacLeod. Nicolai Sylvest could close in on him thanks to his podium finish, defending his third place (183 points).
2014 ATS Formula 3 Cup team rankingTeam Lotus defend their lead of the team ranking, having scored 275 points, followed by Van Amersfoort Racing (193 points). Motopark is in third place (187 points).
Points scored in 15 races of the 2014 ATS Formula 3 Cup (top 10):1. Markus Pommer / GER 2782. Nabil Jeffri / MYS 1923. Indy Dontje / NDL 1674. Sam MacLeod / GBR 1595. Nicolai Sylvest / DNK 1206. Weiron Tan / MYS 947. Andrés Méndez / COL 758. Nikita Zlobin / RUS 639. Maximilian Hackl / DEU 3710. Santino Ferrucci / USA 33