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BTCC

SHEDDEN TAKES CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD AFTER
SHARING WINS AT ROCKINGHAM WITH PLATO-

Jason Plato and Gordon Shedden shared the wins in today’s three exhilarating Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship races at Northamptonshire’s Rockingham circuit. Two of the wins went the way of Scotsman Shedden who has now taken over the championship lead as the title race stays in the county for its penultimate three races of the season at Silverstone in a fortnight (6/7 October).
 
Plato had taken pole position with a new qualifying lap record on Saturday in his MG KX Momentum Racing MG6. He duly went on to dominate today’s first race, held in dry conditions, and set a new race lap record en route. Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan and Honda Yuasa Racing Team star Shedden were second and third in their Honda Civics.

But then conditions changed dramatically as heavy rain settled in for the rest of the day, this enabling Shedden and Neal to take a pair of dream 1-2 results for their team in both the second and third races. Plato finished behind them on each occasion in third.

 
As a result Shedden leaves Rockingham with a three-point lead over Neal. Plato is a further 29 behind with a maximum of 134 still available from the season’s final six races – three each at Silverstone in two weeks and Brands Hatch, Kent a fortnight later (Sun 21 Oct).
 
Dalgety Bay’s Shedden, who has now won eight times in 2012, commented: “I’m delighted – it seems ages since we won a race so to score a pair of 1-2s is just great for everyone in our team. The rain certainly helped us today as Jason had been looking very strong if it had stayed dry. Importantly we’ve maintained a decent gap to him as we’re expecting him to have the upper hand at Silverstone.”

Worcestershire’s Neal, the reigning Champion who has driven this weekend in pain from a broken hand, said: “I’m just pleased to get through the weekend. Gordon was unstoppable in those conditions but a pair of seconds and a sixth are probably better than I thought was possible. We’re expecting Silverstone to be tough but this really helps thinking ahead to Brands Hatch.”

 
Oxford’s Plato added: “We’ve managed to hold the gap to the Honda drivers, even take a little nibble out of them, at what is one of the strongest circuits for their car so I’m satisfied with that. Silverstone is going to be all-important, though – ultimately I want us to go to the final round so there’s a proper showdown for the people watching.”
 
Meanwhile Honda/Dynamics and the Honda Yuasa Racing Team continue to dominate the Manufacturer/Constructor and outright HiQ Teams championships respectively. Jordan has moved further clear at the top of the Independent Drivers Championship. And his Pirtek Racing squad has also regained the Independent Teams Trophy lead.
 
Elsewhere several drivers were punished by officials for on-track indiscretions today. Race 1: Jeff Smith, fined £500 and three penalty points on his competition licence following an incident with Aron Smith. Race 1: Matt Neal, verbal warning following an incident with Rob Austin. Race 2, Jason Plato, verbal warning for performing practice starts.

Formula One

MICHAEL SCHUMACHER HEADS TO THE RACE OF CHAMPIONS IN BANGKOK…

Seven-time Formula 1 world champion Michael Schumacher will be in the line-up as the Race Of Champions celebrates its 25th year of competition in 2012. The German motor racing great – who has more F1 titles, wins and poles than anyone in history – will travel to Bangkok’s Rajamangala Stadium, which will host the prestigious event on the weekend of December 15-16.

Held every year since 1988, the end-of-season contest brings together the world’s greatest drivers from motor sport’s main disciplines – including Formula 1, world rally, touring cars, Le Mans and the X-Games – and sets them free to battle head-to-head in identical machinery. Drivers pair up for the ROC Nations Cup, this year scheduled for Saturday 15 December, before the individual Race Of Champions takes place on Sunday 16 December.

For the past five years Schumacher has joined up with Sebastian Vettel to take Team Germany to victory in the ROC Nations Cup. Reigning F1 world champion Vettel has already announced he will be back for more – and now Schumacher has confirmed that the winning duo will be reunited again. The pair will aim to add yet more Race Of Champions glory to their incredible haul of Formula 1 world championships.

Schumacher said: “I have never raced in Thailand before so this will be an interesting addition to my motor sport travels. Of course it means Team Germany won’t have the home advantage of the past two years but Seb and I managed okay in London and Beijing so we hope it won’t stop us from keeping up our run!

“I’ve turned into a Race Of Champions regular and the event is very entertaining. It is not so much the competition which makes me come back as the fun and the time you spend with the other drivers. But racing in a stadium is sensational – and it’s a very different experience for us drivers to hear the fans so close. And of course we are all professionals so the moment we close the visor we want to win…”

The Race Of Champions brings together stars from all over the world. The 2011 field featured a total of 10 Formula 1 world championships courtesy of Schumacher, Vettel and Jenson Button. The line-up also included greats from Le Mans (Tom Kristensen), touring cars (Andy Priaulx) and the X-Games (Travis Pastrana) plus a host of other motor sport legends.

After recent visits to London’s Wembley Stadium (2007-2008), Beijing’s ‘Bird’s Nest’ Olympic Stadium (2009) and Dusseldorf’s ESPRIT arena (2010-2011), ROC 2012 will take place on a specially constructed tarmac track with two parallel lanes winding their way round Bangkok’s Rajamangala Stadium. Built for the 1998 Asian Games, the 50,000-capacity stadium has since hosted Thailand’s home football matches plus athletics, pop concerts and even political rallies.

Race organiser Fredrik Johnsson said: “It’s great news that Michael will be joining us again for ROC in Bangkok. He is the most successful Formula 1 driver of all time and we were delighted to see him back on the F1 podium in 2012. We’re proud that he enjoys the Race Of Champions and we hope fans from Thailand and around the world will grab this chance to see this racing legend in action.”

There is even better news for German motor sport fans as television station SAT.1 will broadcast this year’s Race Of Champions live from Bangkok. SAT.1 will show the ROC Nations Cup on Saturday December 15 and the individual Race Of Champions on Sunday December 16 – both live – so German race fans can watch their heroes battle it out at Rajamangala Stadium.

Tickets will go on sale on September 28 while information about media accreditation will be released later this month. For further details and hi-res imagery please visit www.raceofchampions.com. Sign up for all the latest updates at www.raceofchampions.com, @raceofchampions on Twitter or Race Of Champions on Facebook.

The full driver line-up for the 2011 Race Of Champions was:

Michael SCHUMACHER, seven-time Formula 1 World Champion

Sebastian VETTEL, 2010 and 2011 Formula 1 World Champion

Jenson BUTTON, 2009 Formula 1 World Champion

David COULTHARD, 13 Formula 1 grand prix victories

Tom KRISTENSEN, eight-time Le Mans 24-Hour race winner

Andy PRIAULX, three-time World Touring Car Champion

Sébastien OGIER, winner of five WRC rallies in 2011

Romain GROSJEAN, driver for Lotus F1 team and 2011 GP2 Series Champion

Vitaly PETROV, driver for Caterham F1 team

Timo GLOCK, driver for Marussia F1 team

Mattias EKSTROM, double DTM champion and triple ROC Champion of Champions

Timo SCHEIDER, double DTM Champion

Martin TOMCZYK, 2011 DTM Champion

Juho HÄNNINEN, 2011 S-WRC Champion and 2010 IRC Champion

Jan KOPECKÝ, three-time Intercontinental Rally Challenge runner-up

Filipe ALBUQUERQUE, DTM star and 2010 ROC Champion of Champions

Brian DEEGAN, 13 X-games medals including Rally Cross gold in 2011

Travis PASTRANA, four-time Rally America winner and X-Games legend

 

INDYCAR

Photo: INDYCAR/LAT USA

HUNTER-REAY WINS IZOD INDYCAR SERIES TITLE AS CARPENTER WINS MAVTV 500

FONTANA, Calif. — The IZOD IndyCar Series championship was Will Power’s to lose entering the MAVTV 500 INDYCAR World Championships at Auto Club Speedway. After Lap 55, it became Ryan Hunter-Reay’s to win.

For the third consecutive year, contact in the season finale altered the title aspirations of the Aussie. The No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car “caught a seam” in Turn 2 of the 2-mile oval, spun and made contact with the SAFER Barrier while running 12th — a few car lengths ahead of Hunter-Reay’s No. 28 Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda car.

Andretti Autosport owner Michael Andretti relayed to a surprised Hunter-Reay, who 18 hours before had signed a two-year contract extension, that he had to finish sixth to claim his first series championship by one point.

But wait. In this season of surprises, ultra-tight competition and high drama, all three collectively focused on the Team Penske garage as the crew converged to repair the Dallara chassis and collect 11 more laps to finish 24th and ahead of the retired car of E.J. Viso.

That’s exactly what transpired, forcing Hunter-Reay to finish at least fifth. Crews from rival teams cheered as the No. 12 entry was wheeled onto pit lane.

That went by the wayside as Alex Tagliani’s engine expired with 20 laps left and then Tony Kanaan’s car made contact with the Turn 4 SAFER Barrier on Lap 241, creating a red flag with the restart on Lap 244.

Ed Carpenter earned his second IZOD IndyCar Series victory for the second consecutive year in the finale and with Dario Franchitti as the runner-up. Scott Dixon finished third and Helio Castroneves was fifth.

Hunter-Reay was running third on the restart and lost two positions, but the 31-year-old Floridian regained one spot when Takuma Sato’s car crashed on the final lap. The points difference, in over 15 events on the most diverse set of racetracks in motorsports, was three points over Power.

Hunter-Reay also clinched the A.J. Foyt Trophy for most points scored on ovals. He entered the race tied with Kanaan.

Franchitti, who won the last IZOD IndyCar Series race at the speedway in 2005, tied Al Unser Jr. and Bobby Rahal for fifth all time with 88 podium finishes. He also passed Rick Mears with his 112th top-five finish and tied Castroneves and Dixon for eighth with his 29th runner-up finish.

RMMR

A BRILLIANT FINISH DOWN IN MONTEREY.

There are times to spectate and there are times to roll up one’s sleeves and participate.  At the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion this year, both options brought abundant joy, as more than 550 authentic and historic race cars from nearly every decade of motorsports history popped their clutches and shifted gears on the esteemed road course of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Over August 16-19, the cars–split into 17 groups according to age and engine size and chosen for their period-correct presentation–put in two days of practice and a weekend’s worth of morning qualifying rounds followed by afternoon Rolex Races that “counted most.” The busy schedule certainly left those behind the wheel with plenty to do, and it gave car enthusiasts–who could watch the action from hillsides and bleachers and mix elbow-to-elbow with drivers, owners and crews in the paddock area–much in which to indulge.

Perhaps the busiest person at the event this year was Lynn Park (La Canada, Calif.), better known as “Mr. Cobra.”  As the Shelby Cobra was the chosen marque for 2012 and Park is proficiently versed in everything Cobra, he seemed the obvious choice for selecting and assuring the provenance of the 45 authentic Cobras that would race in Saturday’s feature race.  The choice could not have been more perfect, and at the awards ceremony, Park was given “The Spirit of Monterey” recognition as the driver who excels in the spirit of the weekend, along with a specially engraved 18k stainless steel and gold Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona.  Park drove one of his 14 personally owned Cobras in Saturday’s race while his sons drove two of his others.

“If you look up the term ‘labor of love’ in Webster’s Dictionary, you will find me and a Cobra in a picture there,” said Park, who has owned 50 Cobras over his lifetime and personally knew the late Carroll Shelby.  “I love this, and I live and breathe Cobras all day long.  We worked really hard to get this event done just this way, and in fact when the organizers said they were going to turn the Cobra end of it over to me, I said okay, beautiful, we’ll get it done.  All the Cobra guys are so cooperative, and they’re just the nicest bunch of people you are ever going to see.  We crowded all those Cobras into that paddock, and what a show!”

Park choked up when he recalled Carroll Shelby telling him he couldn’t wait to be here for this special year at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.  “He was really looking forward to it,” said Park.  “Of course we miss him, and it is such a shame he cannot be here to have seen all this.”

Appropriately, Park also received a special giclee print of this year’s poster artwork, which was rendered by artist Bill Patterson and features a Shelby Cobra as it crests the Corkscrew:  Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca’s signature turn that drops 5 ½ stories in only 450 feet of track length.  Rolex Awards of Excellence were also awarded in each race category, as determined by an independent panel. 

The Final Day
Even with Cobras stealing the show on Saturday, today’s final races brought thrills of different kinds to those who watched. The most exciting race was offered up by the event’s fastest cars, the 1981 – 1989 FIA Mfg. Championship & IMSA GTPs.  Zac Brown’s (Carmel, Indiana) pole sitting 1986 Porsche 962 led flag-to-flag, but Brown conceded, nevertheless, that it was all hard work.

“I was worried about Rick Knoop in the Group 44 Jaguar, because he won last year.  With these older cars you want to get as much of a lead as you can, because you never know when you might have a mechanical or electrical glitch. The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion is the biggest vintage race in the country and arguably the biggest in the world, so to come out and win it is pretty awesome.  I’ve had this car for three years, and last year I put the ex-Formula 1 driver Stephan Johansson in the car, and he won, so it is currently undefeated at this event.”

Brown grew up racing, starting with go-karts at age 13 and racing professionally from 1991 to 2000.  Then he stopped.  “I decided to do historic racing and find it to be a blast; I love it,” said Brown, adding that the experience of the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion goes beyond the race track.  “It’s the whole weekend.  My wife loves it; I’ve got good friends who have come out here, I have friends who have flown here from Europe to take it all in so it’s a great two weeks, I came out for last week’s Pre-Reunion race as well, so it’s a great ten days of driving, with nice food, nice wine and an experience to be remembered.”

Every sport requires a training ground, and in 1958, motor racing developed the perfect training ground to lead to Formula 1, called Formula Junior.  It began with front engine cars and was dominated by Italian drivers, but when the formula adopted rear engine cars, the British took over.  The most notable British drivers were Jim Clark and other great drivers were John Surtees, Trevor Taylor and Peter Arundell.

It was a British racer who now lives in Virginia, Mark Gillies, who stole the show with his 1962 Lotus 22 in the 34-car race for Formula Juniors here.  “I’ve owned this car for about four years, but the two previous owners have raced it here at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion for a number of years and won with it also,” said Gillies, who has been racing for over 30 years. “The Lotus 22 was a popular car in Formula Junior and mostly run by privateers; although, there were always one or two works cars as well.  They were sometimes used in Formula 1 races but mostly just to fill the field, as they were not competitive in that class.”

Also racing in the Formula Junior Group was Sharon Adelman (Free Union, Virginia), who finished 12th in her 1963 Brabham BT6.  “The race was fierce, competitive and very exciting,” said Adelman, who has been racing for five years and wasn’t the only woman registered in this class.  “There are a lot of competent women here; it’s just that when they put on their driving suits, you can’t tell them apart,” said Adelman.  “This is my first time racing at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, and I’m really excited and really surprised I did so well.  There were a lot of very competent and able drivers in this group, so I felt very safe as a ‘newbie’; it was a lot of fun, and I can’t wait to come back.” 

The Oldest Car
The appeal of vintage motor racing is largely the experience of watching colorful race cars once again competing on race circuits around the world. Enthusiasts can reminisce about the glory days of the sport and often times learn something that goes well beyond either memory or imagination.  When eight cars built before World War I raced in yesterday’s Pre-1940 Sports Racing and Touring Cars, fans knew it was something special.  What they found out about the oldest of these cars—a 1907 Renault Grand Prix owned by Alan Travis (Phoenix, AZ)—was truly beyond remarkable.

According to Travis, who eagerly related his car’s history with great authority to anyone who asked, the car was once owned by William K. Vanderbilt.  “Vanderbilt had watched the very first Grand Prix at Le Mans,” said Travis, “and Renault won that race with one of these cars.  He was so impressed with the car that he ordered ten of them to be brought to the United States because he was creating a race series in the USA called the Vanderbilt Cup.  This is one of the ten cars.” 

Travis said his car’s top speed in those days was 90 miles per hour and he had it going 84 miles per hour this weekend.  “We’ve actually driven this car 4,000 miles within this last month,” said Travis.  “We competed in the Great Race back East and then we’ve come here to race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with all its tight turns and up hills and down hills on these wooden wheels.  You can imagine entering a corner at 60 miles per hour in a 105 year-old-car with wooden wheels; it’s probably more exciting than driving a Cobra at 150 miles per hour into that same turn.”

Travis added that the Renault, which cost $15,000 new in the days when you could buy a house for $500, has two wheel brakes only on the rear, but he can’t use them going through the corners, because the car kicks out and then slides.  “Yesterday we did a four wheel drift in the morning, and that was extremely unnerving,” said Travis.  “When my riding mechanic and I finally got through the slide, we looked at each other and said, ‘well, we weren’t thrown from the car, so let’s keep going!’  

“I’ve had this car for one year, and it had never been restored, so I took it down to the frame and found that the rivets had gotten so loose that the frame members were wiggling.  These were the same type of rivets that seven years later were used to build the Titanic, and those didn’t work out that good either.  I did all the work myself, and I did it sympathetically, so things that were a little bit dented or a little bit torn I didn’t fix, because it has earned all of that and are badges of honor.”

The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion is an annual tradition held the third week in August during the Monterey Peninsula’s wildly popular Classic Car Week. The competitors this year were from 10 nations—USA (547), Canada (5),  Brazil (4 ), Switzerland (2), UK (2), Monaco (1), Netherlands (1), Australia (1), Belgium (1), USVI (1)— and 28 states, with the largest contingents coming from California (348), Washington (29), Nevada (25), Arizona (23), Florida (14), Texas (14), Oregon (12) and Colorado (12).

Results for the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion can be found here.

For more information on the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, visit www.MazdaRaceway.com.

Photo: By: Rolex / Stephan Cooper 

RMMR

 

COBRAS TAKE IT TO THE LIMIT  

Today was the day everyone was waiting for, or at least the 30 or so thousand people flocking to the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion were waiting for it:  the chance to see 45 competition Shelby Cobras charging around California’s famously challenging 2.238-mile road course known as Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.  The Cobras are part of the Reunion’s celebration of the Shelby Cobra’s 50th Anniversary, and besides those signed up for racing, there were hundreds more in the paddock, surrounding corrals, and even in a museum-quality Heritage Display, not to mention those driving the streets in Monterey these past few days as their owners went to and from Classic Car Week’s concours events, tours, car shows and auctions that are now signature around the world as among the finest in the automotive world.

The featured Cobra race was one of nine official Rolex Races held after lunchtime today, and it had to be the most watched, running chills up spines with the rage of roaring engines made more intense at the wave of the green flag by celebrity starter Edsel Ford II.  It was billed as a tribute race to honor the Cobra’s originator Carroll Shelby, who had planned to be here, but, sadly, died in May of this year at the age of 89.  For Jim Click, who drove his 1964 Cobra 289 to win, that poignant fact made his victory a significant moment in time.  Back in the paddock, celebrating with his crew and race fans who had surrounded his car, he said, “I knew Carroll Shelby; he did so much for racing and for Ford, so it is an honor for me to have won this race for Mr. Shelby.  This is the biggest win of my life.”

Click explained that he started third on the grid today, but the second-place car broke down.  “I was chasing car #81 (also a 1964 Cobra 289) for the lead, and I knew I was faster going through the turns; he is a really good driver, but he finally made a bit of a mistake exiting a corner, so I was there to take advantage,” said Click.  Race day drama was heightened when a rare Daytona Coupe suddenly wound up off-track as well with apparent damage to its front end.  The Coupe, one of only six ever built, had held a seemingly comfortable third-place position for the first half of the 20-minute race.  At the Rolex Driver’s Club, which allows a birds-eye view of the “Andretti Hairpin” turn 2 and the short straights leading into and exiting turn 3, the atmosphere could not have been more electric, and after the checkered flag, the reverence of fellow drivers from the 16 other classes here was made clear as the Cobra’s slowed their pace to loud cheers and waving caps in recognition of their collective accomplishment.

For Charles Firmenich (Geneva, Switzerland), racing his 1965 Cobra in the race was less about winning and more about gaining experience. “I’ve had this car for two years, but this is my first year of racing,” said Firmenich, adding that he has 20 years experience doing track days with car clubs.  “I have been itching for a long time to do some actual racing, so when I got this Cobra I felt the time had come.  I raced this car at the Le Mans Classic this year and at first it was horrible, because in the rain in a car like this it is frightening, but after a while I got used to it.  I have never been to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca before, and I find it very challenging because it has so many different shapes and turns.  We have a few tracks in Europe that are also fast and technical, but this one is special.  As a Swiss citizen it is great for me to see a Swiss company, Rolex, promoting motor racing around the world and especially vintage racing because it has become so popular in Europe as much as it has in America.”

Just prior to the race, 169 Cobras thrilled the crowds with yet another screaming salute to Carroll Shelby in “Parade Laps” that converged 50 original Shelby Cobras (2000s and 3000s) with 25 continuations (4000s and 6000s that were built by Shelby American with Carroll Shelby’s blessing 20 years after the originals), 19 replicas of the Cobra Daytona Coupe (the lead car of which the Coupe’s designer Peter Brock had command) and 75 more Cobra replicas.  The Nor Cal Shelby Club was behind growing its typically 75-car Cobra Corral at this event to 315 in this special year when Cobra was made the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion’s special marque.  “We pulled it off despite ourselves,” chuckled Orion Felles (Redwood, Calif.), secretary of the club. “I’m glad we could put on a good show and that it was so appreciated.  And the drivers, when they found out about the parade, some of them came because Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is world-famous, and they said, ‘We want to do this track!’”

As if the race and the parade were not enough, Ford’s Shelby Cobra Heritage Display—a giant tented attraction at the center of the race paddock–featured Cobra serial number CSX2001, the very first production Cobra built, among its 12 historically fascinating Cobras that, with the help of story boards, mapped the heritage of the iconic marque.  It is owned by Bruce Meyer (Los Angeles, CA), who like most car collectors, strives for the most unique and rare machines he can find and will show the Cobra at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on Sunday.

“We have been fortunate to have cars worthy of the lawn,” said Meyer, “and I feel that I am just a caretaker of these cars, since none of us can take them with us; it’s a real privilege.”

Meyer explained that Cobra #1 was assembled in Pittsburgh and did all the East Coast auto shows.  It then went off to Le Mans at the end of 1963 to race there in 1964.  After Le Mans it went to Ford Racing of Europe and raced throughout Europe.  “It’s a very significant car, since it is the very first one and also the first Cobra taken to Europe to race.  Loyd Lucky Casner was a close friend of Carroll Shelby and bought this car to race at Le Mans with co-driver Jean Louis Vincent.  Vincent bought the car from Casner after Le Mans and raced it in the Tour de France and it became the only Cobra to ever race that event.” 

Meyer’s collection runs the gamut from Duisenbergs to dragsters to hot rods to Bonneville cars, but he has always been interested in performance cars. “I have the first Corvette to race at Le Mans and the last production Porsche (a 935) to win overall there…I think I will bring the 935 Porsche here to the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion next year to race.  I don’t do a lot of wheel-to-wheel racing, but I do a lot of track days because it suits my schedule better.”

Meyer was appreciative of all around him at Classic Car Week, including Rolex’s involvement as a sponsor here as well as at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance; Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance presented by Rolex; and The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering.  “I want to say that I am delighted that Rolex is part of all this, because Rolex and automobiles are just the perfect pairing, like the perfect pairings of fine wine.  So many car collectors appreciate fine time pieces and Rolex is the one most people associate with exquisite automobiles, for me it’s a privilege to participate in these events.”

For more information on the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, visit www.MazdaRaceway.com

Photo By: Rolex / Tom O’Niel

 

F3 Euro Series

Two German rookies to the fore…

In the 13th season round of the Formula 3 Euro Series, Daniel Juncadella (Prema Powerteam) scored a lights-to-flag victory to extend his points’ lead in the drivers’ standings. Currently, he has an advantage of 20.5 points over Raffaele Marciello (Prema Powerteam), who ended up sixth, just behind guest driver Jazeman Jaafar (Carlin) at the 3.629 kilometres long Nürburgring sprint circuit. In bright sunshine and with high temperatures, German rookies Sven Müller (Prema Powerteam) and Pascal Wehrlein (Mücke Motorsport) finished second and third behind the Spanish winner.

In the run up to the first corner, Daniel Juncadella successfully defended his pole position against Felix Rosenqvist (Mücke Motorsport) and Sven Müller. Euro Series’ novice Müller slotted into second place from Pascal Wehrlein and Felix Rosenqvist. This order remained unchanged until the chequered flag was out after 29 laps. With their results, Wehrlein and Müller, first and second in the rookie standings, moved up in the drivers’ standings within striking distance to third-placed William Buller (Carlin).

Daniel Juncadella (Prema Powerteam): “The race wasn’t easy, because my car was oversteering throughout the race. Moreover, I made a mistake early on which nearly cost me the race. My start wasn’t perfect either, but I was able to hold onto first place. Of course, I am still happy with the result of this race.”

Sven Müller (Prema Powerteam): “I am happy with my podium finish. My start was okay, I was able to overtake Felix Rosenqvist on the first few metres already. My car oversteered as well, but nevertheless, I drove a race in which I was able to push it to the limit all the time.”

Pascal Wehrlein (Mücke Motorsport): “My start wasn’t fantastic, but I moved up one place in the first corner and I was third. Felix Rosenqvist put me under pressure in the early stages of the race, until I was able to pull a slight gap. I am happy with third place, particularly after the Norisring weekend, during which I had a lot of bad luck.