Prototype Cup Germany teams in Oschersleben for two days of testing. Home outing for Nico Göhler in the Magdeburger Börde region. Danny Soufi makes his debut at Motorsport Arena Oschersleben.
The Prototype Cup Germany spent two days this week testing at Motorsport Arena Oschersleben, where races three and four of the season will take place at the end of May. The fastest lap time of 1:19.344 minutes came courtesy of Xavier Lloveras (23/ESP), who shared the Duqueine run by JvO Racing by Downforce Motorsports with regular drivers Gabriela Jílková (28/CZE) and Julien Apothéloz (22/CHE). Elio Sperandio (17/CHE, BHK Motorsport) set the second fastest time of the weekend; the Swiss was just 0.016 seconds slower than Lloveras. The pairing of Gary Hauser (31/LUX) and Markus Pommer (32/Untereisesheim, both Racing Experience) were third fastest over the two days, followed by Nico Göhler (19/Grasleben, BWT Mücke Motorsport) and Danny Soufi (19/USA, Konrad Motorsport).
JvO protégé Jílková is in her first year in LMP3 racing. “It was a very last-minute decision to drive in the Prototype Cup Germany; it is a great chance for me to develop as a driver. I am coming from GT4 racing and must now adapt to a totally different driving style, as an LMP3 racer, unlike a GT4 car, does not have ABS or traction control. However, I am feeling more comfortable all the time and improving with every session.” Given her inexperience, Jílková’s goals are relatively modest. “I want to learn as much as possible and to improve step by step.” She and her team-mate Lucas Mauron (24/CHE) finished fourth and fifth at the season-opener in Hockenheim. As such, the next logical step would be to finish on the podium. “A podium would indeed be a nice reward for us.”
As it is for Jílková, the LMP3 class is new territory for Göhler. The test in Oschersleben was also a home outing for the Mücke driver, as he lives just 50 kilometres from the racetrack. “I am sure that a lot of friends will come to the track to support me at the race weekend in two weeks.” Göhler drove for Berlin-based team Mücke Motorsport in Formula 4 and is impressed by team principal Peter Mücke’s outfit. So much so that he is now taking the next step with the experienced team. “After my break last year, I wanted to do something new in motorsport and was initially considering GT racing. However, I believe that LMP3 is actually the right way, as they are real race cars.” However, the teenager is not looking too far ahead. “I have not yet thought about whether LMP2 is a possible goal for me; I want to focus fully on LMP3 for now.”
Unlike Jílková and Göhler, Soufi is already in his second year in the Prototype Cup Germany. However, 2023 is his first full season. In 2022, the American joined the LMP3 cup at the third race weekend and this week travelled to Oschersleben for the first time. “I like the circuit, it is a lot of fun. It is like a big kart track.” Soufi is finding it easier now than he did last year, when the LMP3 car was still new to him. “In 2022, I still had to get the necessary feel for the car. In the meantime, I can now focus more on getting to know the new racetracks.” Despite this, the Konrad driver still feels he is in a learning process. “2023 will be another year of learning for me. However, I am picking up a lot from my team-mates, particularly Maximilian and Sebastian.” Maximilian Hackländer (33/Rüthen) and Sebastian von Gartzen (30/Butzbach) have both already contested a full season in the Prototype Cup Germany and have thus gained more experience than Soufi, who this year shares the car with Nicholas Silva (26/USA). Soufi’s compatriot made his Prototype Cup Germany debut in Hockenheim at the end of April.