Carlo van Dam wins again and takes over ATS F3 Cup lead!14-05-07
And that is victory number 2! After his second place and first victory two weeks ago at Hockenheim, Carlo van Dam was on the top step of the podium again after winning the final race at Oschersleben (Germany). Yesterday the Dutchman finished third in a bizarre rain race. After four podium finishes and two wins the S-T-A-R-T driver is now leading the championship with 38 points. In the Rookie Cup Van Dam shares the lead with Frédéric Vervisch, both drivers have 34 points.
FREE PRACTICE + QUALIFYING:
The first free practice took place on a wet track. Van Dam was constantly at the front and finished the session in second place, just behind Récardo Bruins Choi, with a lap time of 1:39.7. In the second hour and a half long session of the day Van Dam went out on slicks. Clocking a 1:24.1 he set the fastest lap of the session and kept all his opponents behind him.
Because it rained during the night, the driver from Vlaardingen, The Netherlands set his car up for a wet qualifying. But the track dried in a record speed, so the team changed the rain tyres for slicks. Van Dam tried to set a fast lap but he, and the other drivers, were constantly slowed because of yellow flags. With a lot of oversteer problems he managed to squeeze out one fast lap in his penultimate attempt, fast enough to take pole position at the time. It turned out that Van Dam had set the fastest lap while yellow flags had been shown. His lap time was disallowed and Van Dam dropped back to fourth place. In the final session Van Dam went out on the track as the last car of the field. On a dry track he kept improving his lap times and put in the fastest lap time of the session. This meant he scored his third pole position of the season already!
RACE 01 + 02:
In the first race on Saturday afternoon Van Dam had a decent start. He got rid of pole man Nico Verdonck and overtook Récardo Bruins Choi on the outside in turn 1. The 21-year old then closed in on race leader Frédéric Vervisch (JB Motorsport) and at the end of lap one he crossed the line in second position. All of a sudden it started raining cats and dogs and Van Dam lost his position to Verdonck. After eight laps the safety car was deployed. Despite the heavy rain the race was restarted three laps later. A scenario no one had foreseen. For Van Dam there was nothing else to do than to keep his car in one piece. He went off track twice but did not damage the car. After fourteen laps Van Dam ended the race on the podium after finishing third.
As well as in the first race the second race started well for Van Dam. He got away cleanly and kept his first position. He gained half a second per lap on Vervisch, who could only follow Van Dam. After creating a five seconds lead Van Dam started to control the race. He did not take a risk and, also thanks to some yellow flag situations, Vervisch managed to close in. After eighteen laps Van Dam took the second win of the season already. Vervisch came home in second place, followed by Michael Klein. Van Dam also set the fastest lap of the race, adding another point to his total.
CARLO VAN DAM: “Of course I am very happy with this result. We went out for two wins, but I had some bad luck during the qualifying with those yellow flags. Yesterday was a lottery and it was insane to restart the race after the safety car went in. They should have ended the race because we had already driven 75% of the distance. I could not even follow the safety car due to the rain. Especially on the straights we were not able to follow the JB Motorspor drivers on slicks. I think our cars were a couple of millimetres lower than theirs, so they had a better car handling in this weather conditions. Despite that we had an excellent weekend. When I look back at the start of the season, with two races close to each other and a lot of work done, I am extremely happy that we have scored so many points. We can now easily work towards the next ATS F3 Cup races on the Nürburgring (07-09 June)!”