Jimmy Eriksson has to be patient and wait for his second match point to secure the 2012 ATS Formula 3 Cup title in the season finale at Hockenheim. On the Nürburgring weekend (15th/16th September), the experienced Swede failed to score enough points for an early championship party. At the end of the day, the Lotus driver missed this goal by just three points, on the cold but sunny race weekend in the Eifel. Points that were stolen by one of the youngest drivers on the grid: Lucas Auer. The race wins, however, were secured by Briton Tom Blomqvist and Austrian Rene Binder. Meanwhile, Andre Rudersdorf succeeded in securing the ATS Formula 3 Trophy early. With the Nürburgring weekend contested, his lead is so big that none of his rivals will be able to fully close the gap, on 29th/30th September at Hockenheim.
The race weekend at the Nürburgring’s 5.137-kilometre Grand Prix circuit demonstrated clearly: had Tom Blomqvist contested all the races of the 2012 ATS Formula 3 Cup season he definitely would have been one of the title contenders. Due to scheduling conflicts, however, the 18-year old Briton couldn’t race at Zandvoort, Assen and the Lausitzring - but celebrated five race wins, nevertheless. Two of these wins - as well as two pole positions - were secured this weekend at the Nürburgring and in addition, the son of World Rally Champion Stig Blomqvist also set a fastest race lap.
Jimmy Eriksson had high expectations, prior to the Nürburgring weekend. He travelled to the Eifel with a massive 86-point lead - and left it with a lead of ‘only’ 72 points under his belt. Not enough for securing the title early. No doubt, the chances of his only title rival, Lucas Auer, are extremely slim - but theoretically, he still could clinch the title.
Meanwhile, the battle for the second position in the championship will be far more thrilling, at Hockenheim, with Austria’s Lucas Auer, Japanese Kimiya Sato and Australian Mitchell Gilbert still having the chance of finishing the season as vice-champion. All the three drivers delivered in fine style, at the Nürburgring, battled it out at the front end of the field and added points to their tallies in every race. On the other hand, none of them was able to beat Tom Blomqvist.
The first lap of the sprint race on Saturday afternoon once again demonstrated the high level of the ATS Formula 3 Cup’s safety concept: Jimmy Eriksson made one of his rare mistakes while braking into a corner, hit the rear of his team-mate Kimiya Sato, got airborne - and crashed into the single-seater of Tom Blomqvist. Conclusion: nobody harmed, everything fine.
And now, in just two weeks time, the race action will be continued at Hockenheim. Nobody doubts that Jimmy Eriksson will be the one to be crowned as the new champion, during the course of the championship ceremony on Sunday evening. Actually, the only one who could prevent Eriksson from winning the title is Eriksson himself. Securing three of 75 points should be possible, shouldn’t it?