DTM

19 Mike Rockenfeller (D), Audi Sport Team Phoenix, Audi RS 5 DTM

Masterpiece on the North Sea coast: Mike Rockenfeller wins early 2013 DTM championship title—

Zandvoort. Mike Rockenfeller is the 2013 DTM champion. Second place at Zandvoort in The Netherlands was enough for the Audi driver to win an early drivers’ title in the most popular international touring car series for the first time in his career. Although his only remaining rival, Augusto Farfus (BMW) won the race at the dune circuit, the Brazilian was beaten in the battle for the title.

“I can hardly believe it. This is an incredibly heavy load coming off my shoulders. In such a moment, it is all coming back again: the early years in the DTM, how difficult it was and how hard I worked. Many thanks to all those who have made this happen,” said Rockenfeller, who is leading in the drivers’ standings prior to the season finale at Hockenheim (October 18 till 20) with 142 points and has an unbeatable margin of 26 points. This year, Rockenfeller’s consistency was the key to success: with his Audi RS 5 DTM, the 29-year old scored points in every race and won at Brands Hatch (GB) and the DTM premier at Moscow Raceway (RUS).

Rockenfeller’s fellow Audi driver Timo Scheider finished third at Zandvoort, scoring his first podium finish of the season. In ninth position, Gary Paffett was the best-placed driver of a DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé. In total 41,000 fans attended the penultimate race weekend.

Farfus, who overtook fellow BMW driver Marco Wittmann in the opening stages of the race, scored his third win of the season. “I did my utmost and that was my goal. Hats off to Mike, he has done a great job. He has deserved the title,” Farfus said. At the start of the race, the 30-year old was attacked by Rockenfeller, but eventually clearly had the edge with his BMW M3 DTM and thus secured second place in the drivers’ standings early.

Swede Mattias Ekström (Audi) scored an impressive recovery. The two times’ DTM champion had started eleventh and finished fourth. Marco Wittmann (BMW), who had claimed his maiden pole position in the most popular international touring car series on the day before, finished fifth.

Gary Paffett, runner-up after the 2012 season, moved up into the point-scoring positions from twelfth on the grid and congratulated the new champion afterwards. “Congratulations to Mike, he has had a tremendous season. For me, it was rather disappointing, although our performance wasn’t bad,” the Brit commented.

The race at the dune circuit of Zandvoort was interrupted by a safety car phase after Dirk Werner (BMW) and Jamie Green (Audi) had collided on lap 38. The restart followed in the final lap of the race, allowing Rockenfeller to cross the finish line at racing speed.

Dieter Gass, head of DTM, Audi: “Congratulations to Mike, the Audi Sport Team Phoenix and the entire Audi team! Mike has wrapped up the drivers’ title early. Now, we are also on top in the manufacturers’ and teams’ standings. One really can’t hope for more. Mike is a worthy champion who didn’t make any mistakes under pressures today either. Timo Scheider covered his back and deserved his maiden podium finish of the season. Mattias Ekström’s recovery was sensational, too. Tonight, there are so many reasons to celebrate, and we will definitely do so.” 

Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport director: “Congratulations to Audi and to Mike Rockenfeller. Personally, I am proud of Augusto, because he has done what he could. He has dominated today’s race, he couldn’t have done any more. In his second season, he is doing well and he is already so strong. There will be many championship titles coming our way and we count on Augusto. There are two titles still to be won, and that is what we will be aiming at in Hockenheim.”

Wolfgang Schattling, head of DTM management, Mercedes-Benz:“Congratulations to the entire Audi team and to BMW for winning this race. Unfortunately, for us, it was a weekend to forghet. Too bad, because we didn’t have a chance to interfere in the battle for the championship. Now, the focus is on the finale, where we want to bow out from this season with good results.”

 

F3 European Championship

FIA Formula 3 European Championship, round 8, race 3, Zandvoort (NL)

FELIX ROSENQVIST WINS—battle for the title is open again—

With his second victory, Felix Rosenqvist (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) concluded the eighth race weekend of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship on the Dutch North Sea coast. As points’ leader, Raffaele Marciello (Prema Powerteam) retired early, the Swede was able to reduce his gap in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship drivers’ standings to 9.5 points. At the 4.307 kilometres long Circuit Park Zandvoort, Jordan King (Carlin) and Alex Lynn (Prema Powerteam) followed behind Rosenqvist.

From pole position, Felix Rosenqvist took the lead at the start, followed by Jordan King, who had already overtaken his team-mate Daniil Kvyat (Carlin) on the first few metres. Alex Lynn moved past the Red Bull junior driver on the opening lap as well, so that Kvyat was in fourth place and came under pressure from Raffaele Marciello. Lynn was only able to relax on lap 16, as Marciello crashed into the barriers all on his own and retired. A safety car intervention followed. At the restart with one lap remaining, Rosenqvist held on to his leading position and soon after celebrated his second victory of the season.

British driver, Jordan King, scored his best result in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship to date by finishing second from his compatriot Alex Lynn. After Marciello’s retirement, Luis Felipe Derani (Fortec Motorsports) moved up to fifth place behind Daniil Kvyat and ahead of Harry Tincknell (Carlin). Lucas Auer (Prema Powerteam) only overtook Tom Blomqvist (Eurointernational) for eighth place on the final lap, followed by Alexander Sims (ThreeBond with T-Sport) and Mitchell Gilbert (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport).

Felix Rosenqvist (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) 
“I knew that I had a good chance of winning when I would be first into the first corner. Therefore, I focussed on the start and I did well. Then, I tried to manage my tyres and to keep my margin on Jordan consistent. That wasn’t very easy and I had to do my utmost. Of course, this weekend in general was great for me: I have scored 75 points and I was able to close up in the drivers’ standings.” 

Jordan King (Carlin)
“I was able to overtake Daniil at the start and slotted in behind Felix. Unfortunately, after that, I was never close enough to start an attack. After the restart, I didn’t have a chance against Felix either, even though I was able to reduce the gap. All in all, my weekend was quite good. I have moved up from eighth to sixth in the drivers’ standings.”

Alexander Lynn (Prema Powerteam)
“Making it onto the podium from fourth place on the grid is really good, and even more so as I was driving with used tyres in this race. I didn’t have any chance against Felix and Jordan, but I was able to overtake Daniil. With three podium finishes this weekend, I really can’t complain. Now, we have to work on being able to battle for pole position in qualifying again.”