All the details we noticed at the third and fourth races of the season in the Prototype Cup Germany at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben.
Xavier Lloveras (23/ESP, van ommen racing by DataLab) celebrated his Prototype Cup Germany debut in the Magdeburger Börde region. “The team contacted me before the testing that took place in Oschersleben just over two weeks ago and it didn’t take me long to decide. They were clearly satisfied with my performance in testing, so I’m here now.” His first impressions of the series are overwhelmingly positive. “The Prototype Cup Germany has a strong field, with some fast drivers. It is also nice to be competing as part of the DTM, as this always attracts plenty of fans to the circuits,” says the reigning LMP3 champion in the Asian Le Mans Series.
Lucas Mauron (25/CHE) also made a debut in Oschersleben, driving the Ligier from BHK Motorsport for the first time with his compatriot Elia Sperandio (17) as a team-mate. “Our aim is to play a role in the Prototype Cup Germany. That means consistently finishing in the points, winning now and again, and placing well in the overall standings,” says the confident Swiss driver. “I don’t yet have much experience with an LMP3, but I am learning to trust the car more and more.” He confirmed this in race two by racing to third place for a long period, before the engine failed to restart during the driver changeover. The team assumes that “the clutch probably got too hot before that and therefore failed to disengage.”
As well as Martin Andersen (28/DNK, Mühlner Motorsport), Danny Soufi (19/USA, Konrad Motorsport) also completed both races on his own. “It has advantages and disadvantages,” says the young US American. “As this is only my fourth race weekend in the LMP3, the extra time in the car is very valuable. This allows me to familiarise myself with the Ginetta much better, and to get used to the circuit in Oschersleben, where I had never raced before.” Soufi proved how beneficial the extra driving time was by claiming eighth place in qualifying and in the first race, and then sixth position in the second qualifying session and in the second race. Nonetheless, he would like to have a team partner again in the future. “As a lone driver, you have to stay in the pits for five seconds longer than the other drivers, and you need to get that time back. If only for this reason, I would love to have a team-mate to share my car with in the future.”
A historic, 25-year-old record was broken in the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben last weekend. Laurents Hörr (25/Gerlingen, Koiranen Kemppi Motorsport) recorded a new fastest lap for closed-cockpit sportscars in Oschersleben, posting a time of 1:18.461 minutes in the second qualifying session. However, the current LMP3 racers went round in 1:20.305 minutes in the race – with Hörr the best of the bunch again – a little slower than the old record time of 1:20.206 minutes, set by Uwe Alzen in 1998 in a Porsche GT.
Matthias Lüthen (42/Hamburg, Koiranen Kemppi Motorsport) twice topped the Trophy standings in Oschersleben. The driver from Hamburg produced a particularly good performance in race one, defending his podium position for long periods. Valentino Catalano (17/Westheim, DKR Engineering) finally nudged him off the rostrum just a few turns before the start of the safety car phase. There was plenty of praise for the Bronze driver in the paddock nonetheless. “It was anything but easy to get past him,” says Gary Hauser (31/LUX, Racing Experience). “If I were able to defend so well as a Bronze driver, I’d be really happy,” stated Jörg van Ommen, team principal of van ommen racing by DataLab. However, his total of three Trophy triumphs is still not enough for Lüthen to claim top spot in this competition. Mark van der Snel (52/NLD, More Motorsport by Reiter) is currently in first place, followed by the duo Wolfgang Payl (59/AUT) / Kevin Rohrscheidt (31/Stuttgart, both Racing Experience).
Julien Apothéloz (22/CHE, van ommen racing by DataLab) tops the Junior standings after four races. Valentino Catalano and Robin Rogalski (22/POL, DKR Engineering) are together in second place, followed by Max van der Snel (19/NLD, More Motorsport by Reiter). In the team standings, a new feature introduced this year, van ommen racing by DataLab is currently just ahead of the Luxembourg duo of Racing Experience and DKR Engineering.
Everything is currently going really well for Robin Rogalski. The LMP3 newcomer followed up celebrations of his first win in the Prototype Cup Germany by heading to Le Mans. “I am competing with my team DKR Engineering in the Road to Le Mans race and I am looking forward to this so much.” Even before leaving Oschersleben on Sunday evening, he had arrived mentally in France. “I am already focusing on Le Mans.” The list of starters also includes Matthias Lüthen from the Prototype Cup Germany field, as he will be sporting the colours of the MV2S Racing team. Laurents Hörr is already one step further along and will be racing an LMP2 at the 24-hour race in Le Mans.
An injury sustained by Franz Konrad just before departure to the Magdeburger Börde prevented the Konrad Motorsport team principal from making the trip to Oschersleben. According to his team, the Austrian suffered a foot injury as a result of the accident in his home workshop. Konrad, who is competing with drivers Danny Soufi, Maximilian Hackländer (33/Rüthen) and Sebastian von Gartzen (30/Butzbach) ended up in hospital instead of being at the second race weekend in the Prototype Cup Germany. We wish him a full recovery and hope that he makes a swift return to the racetrack.
Participants in the Prototype Cup Germany had a day of testing on Thursday, when they shared the track with the DTM. This meant extra work for Aust Motorsport and Mühler Motorsport in particular, as Dino Steiner (54/Wehingen, Aust Motorsport) and Martin Andersen ended up in the crash barriers with their LMP3 cars. Gebhardt Motorsport reported a defective stabiliser and the spare part they needed only arrived in Oschersleben a day later. The team consequently missed out on the first free practice session on Friday.