ATS Formel 3 Cup: Interview team winner‏ Timo Rumpfkeil

“The plan worked out.”

Timo Rumpfkeil's Team Lotus has been contesting the ATS Formula 3 Cup since 2012 and won the championship and rookie titles as well as the team ranking last year. In 2014 the Oschersleben-based talent factory claimed these three titles again in a commanding manner. Behind Team Lotus is Team Motopark which was founded by Timo Rumpfkeil in 1998. He knows what he is talking about, since he used to be a successful race driver in several Formula and GT series himself. Many drivers started a successful career in the highest classes of motorsports, including Valtteri Bottas, Filipe Albuquerque, Renger van der Zande, Kevin Magnussen, Antonio Felix da Costa, or are on their way to achieve success like Marvin Kirchhöfer or Jimmy Eriksson. An interview with Timo Rumpfkeil, Team Principal of Team Lotus which won the 2014 team ranking.

Timo, was the victory a sure thing?You have to contest two racing weekends before you can see where you stand. And we were very confident after the first two events.

How does it feel?We are very happy. Winning the title in the team ranking is important. It is an acknowledgement of the work of everyone involved. We achieved our goal. Markus Pommer secured the championship title and we also won the team title. The plan worked out.

The famous overall package is often mentioned when it is about a team winning. Why is your overall package better?It is based on our efforts to continue improving a well-functioning team. We have good people, from the truck driver to the engineer. Key people have been the same for years that makes the difference.

How do you select your team? Everybody must be really determined to do their job 100% and be really willing to learn. You also have to be ready to accept disadvantages with regard to working hours. Our cars are prepared in detail. It is a very, very intense work.

Are you able to select the drivers yourself?We reached that point years ago. It is very much a luxury and I really appreciate it.

Let’s talk about your drivers from a team principal view.Markus has definitely lived up to his role. He made no mistakes and delivered on a very high level. He was the favourite and fulfilled that role. He managed to deal with the pressure and deserved to become the champion.Indy has made a very smooth switch. He got used to Formula 3 very quickly. He completed his rookie season in a very constant and clean manner. Nabil convinced us in the tests in winter because he had a lot of ups and downs last year. He has made huge progress and the close collaboration with his engineer, especially on the racing weekends, helped of course. He has been learning well and fast but he is still learning. With Andrés it was clear from the onset that 2014 would be a year of training. So far he did not have a very comprehensive training. In addition, the car and most of the tracks were new to him. However, Andrés is highly motivated and ready to work extremely hard. Considering his previous experience in single-seater open-wheel racing Andrés did a very good job. He made a lot of progress in the 2014 season. Therefore, in the 2015 season he will have a lot of experience which he gathered in the 2014 season.

Who will you continue to work with in 2015?We definitely want to continue in the ATS Formula 3 Cup and will probably enter three cars. This is based on logistics, since we will also contest the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. Andrés will probably contest the ATS Formula 3 Cup for a second year.

What importance do you attribute to Formula 3 in general?I consider the national Formula 3 an important step in the career of the guys. The German Formula 3 produced many talents in the past, like Kirchhöfer or Eriksson more recently. This underlines the significance of the ATS Formula 3 Cup. Now we have to aim to get more contenders on the track.

In an interview you said that a meticulous preparation is the most important thing. How far are you in your preparations for the 2015 season?It is pretty straightforward at the moment. We will test new drivers for next season in October. We will see, what happens.

Thank you, Timo! We wish you all the best! See you next year!