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Saturday, May 12, 2012 - 23:15
After a promising start to the season at Oschersleben, Lotus underlined its supremacy at Round 2 by dominating all three races at Zandvoort.

ADAC Formel Masters, Zandvoort, 2012, Marvin KirchhoeferLotus has emerged as the team to beat in the German ADAC Formula Masters series, increasing its lead in both the drivers’ and team standings.

Marvin Kirchhoefer claimed pole and wins in both the first two races, in lights-to-flag fashion. In Race 3 Beitske Visser became the first female driver to win a heat in this series.

Kirchhoefer’s performance was a replay of the Oschersleben race, and has further stretched his lead in the championship. While he made it look easy, team-mate Visser had to drive through the pain barrier to take her win. The 18-year-old from the Netherlands suffered brake failure in Friday’s free practice, crashing hard into the tyre wall and walking away with heavy bruising. She spent the night in hospital as a precaution, and wasn’t cleared to race until Sunday. In spite of the considerable pain that racing exerted on her, she fought her way to the front and won Race 3 on home turf.

Polish driver Kuba Dalewski came from seventh on the grid to finish Race 1 fourth. He then missed the start of Race 2 and still charged through the field to finish third. In Race 3, he touched the Armco while dicing for P4. After rejoining the race in fifth, his left rear rim broke as a result of the earlier impact and Dalewski retired to the gravel trap.

Both Jeffrey Schmidt and Indy Dontje struggled with tyre wear at various stages during the races. Dontje’s highlight of the weekend was P4 in Race 2, in which he showed massive improvement. He backed that up with two more Top 10 finishes in the other heats. Schmidt hit the sweet spot of his set-up for Race 3, in which he passed a number of opponents in breathtaking fashion and ended up fourth – after having started 12th.

Marvin Kirchhoeffer leads the championship, followed by Dalewski. Schmidt and Visser are ranked seventh and eighth, with Dontje following in 11th spot. In the teams’ leaderboard, Lotus leads convincingly.

Timo Rumpfkeil, team principal: “It was a brilliant weekend for Lotus. The way Marvin controlled the first two races was mighty impressive for a rookie – as were the hard charges by Kuba. One cannot praise Beitske highly enough for what she achieved: To put such a hefty crash to the back of her mind and then win a race in spite of all the pain was just mega. Jeffrey’s weekend was scarred by bad luck in qualifying, when red flags came out at a time where he needed them least. Indy is showing a steep increase in performance, as his fourth place in Heat 2 underlined. We are going to see him on the rostrum pretty soon, too. P1 and P2 in the drivers’ and P1 in the teams’ standing are a well-deserved reward for all the hard work of the entire team.”