Title race in the Prototype Cup Germany heats up in Assen
The Prototype Cup Germany, which is organised by the ADAC and Creventic, is entering the finish straight. This weekend, the racing series for LMP3 sports cars will hold its fifth and sixth races of the season as part of the ADAC Racing Weekend. The venue is TT Circuit Assen in the Netherlands. The first outcomes in the title race could be decided at the Dutch racetrack. 16 LMP3 from three manufacturers have been registered for the race weekend, promising plenty of excitement and spectacle. As usual, the action will be streamed live and free of charge at adac.de/motorsport and on the ADAC Motorsport channel youtube.com/adacmotorsports.
Gary Hauser (31/LUX) and Markus Pommer (32/Untereisesheim, both Racing Experience) arrive in Assen as championship leaders. The Duqueine D08 duo hold a 31-point lead over their closest rivals, meaning they could be crowned 2023 champions with races still to come. “We will not let the situation in the table distract us, and come into the race weekend as focussed as ever. Anything else would just causes tension and mental blocks,” says Hauser. “We want to win again in Assen. That is always the goal, but the opposition in the Prototype Cup Germany is strong and will not make it easy for us. I really like the circuit in Assen. The layout is very flowing. You get into a real rhythm, particularly in the middle sector. Assen is relatively fast and a lot of fun.”
The second-placed duo, and fellow Duqueine drivers, Oscar Tunjo (27/COL) and Julien Apothéloz (22/CHE, both Van Ommen Racing by DataLab) are hoping to close the gap to the leaders with a strong display in Assen. “After the summer break, we are really looking forward to the race weekend in Assen,” says Apothéloz. “We have already shown what we are capable of this year, and still have our sights set on the title. There are still four races to come in 2023, and a lot can happen. The key is to score as many points as possible in Assen, in order to close the gap to those ahead of us. The circuit is new to me, but I have already learned the layout on the simulator. I was also with the team in Mendig last week, so that we could analyse some data together in preparation.”
45 points off the lead, third-placed Valentino Catalano (17/Westheim) and Robin Rogalski (23/POL, both DKR Engineering) are also still in the thick of the title race. Fellow Duqueine drivers Gustavo Kyrila (29/BRA) and Nico Göhler (20/Grasleben, both BWT Mücke Motorsport), and Matthias Lüthen (42/Hamburg) and Laurents Hörr (25/Gerlingen, both Koiranen Kemppi Motorsport), also have realistic title aspirations, as they trail the leaders by 50 and 51 points respectively.
Koiranen Kemppi Motorsport will line up with a second Duqueine for the first time in Assen, which will be driven by young Finn Leevi Vappula. Racing Experience and Van Ommen Racing by DataLab also start with two Duqueine cars again. A Duqueine is also registered in the provisional entry list for Mühlner Motorsport from Belgium. Gebhardt Motorsport will run a Duqueine for the first time.
Beitske Visser (28/NLD) is making her debut in the Prototype Cup Germany and will share a Duqueine with Elio Sperandio (18/CHE, both BHK Motorsport). The flying Dutch woman has driven a prototype in the World Endurance Championship. She took her first steps in automobile racing about ten years ago in the ADAC Formula Masters. Visser only lives about 40 minutes from Assen, making her a favourite with the locals.
Assen is also a home venue for Max van der Snel (20/NLD) and Mark van der Snel (52/NLD), who share a Ligier JS P320 for More Motorsport by Reiter. Jasper Stiksma (22/NLD) and ADAC Stiftung Sport driver Jan Marschalkowski (20/Inning am Ammersee, both MRS GT-Racing) line up in the same model of car. Aust Motorsport is also putting its faith in a Ligier again. The field is completed by two Ginetta G61-LT-P3, run by iconic racing team Konrad Motorsport.