In 2009, Volkswagen again clearly demonstrates its commitment to promoting young motorsport talent: partnering with the teams of Van Amersfoort Racing and Performance Racing, Volkswagen will be supplying 2-litre engines from Wolfsburg to as many as two squads in the ATS Formula 3 Cup, thus intensifying its engagement in the Germany-based “second league” of Formula 3 sport. The opening event of a total of nine race weekends will be held at Oschersleben on 13 April.
“The support of young talent traditionally has a very high priority at Volkswagen,” says Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen. “We’re pleased to now have two strong partners at our side – Van Amersfoort and our new partner Performance Racing. What’s more, both teams are bringing promising drivers to the Volkswagen family.” The Dutch racing team of Frits van Amersfoort has leased engines in Wolfsburg for the Volkswagen Dallaras of Laurens Vanthoor (B) and Stef Dusseldorp (NL). The Performance Racing team based in the United Kingdom will contest the 18 races with Adderly Fong (CN) and Rafael Suzuki (BR).
Following its comeback as an engine partner in Formula 3, Volkswagen experienced an extremely successful debut year in 2008. In the internationally positioned Formula 3 Euro Series, which is mostly staged as part of the DTM’s supporting programme, drivers “powered by Volkswagen” clinched 13 podium places and three victories. The final standings reflected a strong premiere performance as well: the Italian Edoardo Mortara and his Signature team finished as the runners-up in the championship. In the ATS Formula 3 Cup, which – since 2003 – has been continuing the proud German Formula 3 tradition, Van Amersfoort Racing scored two victories, six second places places and fourth position overall with Laurens Vanthoor.
The choice of drivers made by both Volkswagen partner teams creates optimum prerequisites for continuing these exploits in 2009: in the ranks of Van Amersfoort the merely 17-year-old Belgian Laurens Vanthoor and his Dutch team colleague Stef Dusseldorp (19) form a young and ambitious duo. The team based near Amsterdam looks back on a history spanning some 30 years and – most recently in 2007 with Carlo van Dam – won the Formula 3 Cup. Formula 1 drivers like Jos Verstappen or Christijan Albers emerged from the talent incubator of the experienced team chief Frits van Amersfoort.
The squad from Performance Racing has set its sights high as well. “We look forward to contesting the ATS Formula 3 Cup with Volkswagen power. I’m sure this partnership will take us to a new level after a successful debut season,” says Bobby Issazadhe. The team owner is banking on proven drivers in the 2009 season: both the Chinese Adderly Fong (18) and Rafael Suzuki from Brazil competed for Performance Racing in the ATS Formula 3 Cup as early as last year. The 21-year-old Brazilian Suzuki managed the leap on to the podium twice that year.
The 2009 ATS Formula 3 Cup calendar
- 09 – 13 April – Oschersleben (D)
- 21 – 23 May – Nürburgring (D)
- 05 – 07 June – Hockenheim (D)
- 19 – 21 June – Oschersleben (D)
- 03 – 05 July – EuroSpeedway (D)
- 07 – 09 August – Assen (NL)
- 21 – 23 August – Nürburgring (D)
- 18 – 20 September – Sachsenring (D)
- 16 – 18 October – Hockenheim (D)