Pommer / Hauser score important points in second place. Sparkling chase from Valentino Catalano to finish third. Matthias Lüthen wins Trophy, Julien Apothéloz best Junior.
Oscar Tunjo (27/COL) and Julien Apothéloz (22/CHE, both from ommen racing by DataLab) have emerged victorious from the third race of the season in the Prototype Cup Germany. “I am happy with the win, our second success this season. It is our third podium of 2023, so I am delighted for our team as well,” explains Tunjo. Apothéloz was equally thrilled after crossing the line. “We produced some great racing after Oscar had laid the foundations by finishing second in qualifying.” Markus Pommer (32/Untereisesheim) / Gary Hauser (31/LUX, both Racing Experience) secured second place in the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben ahead of Robin Rogalski (22/POL) and Valentino Catalano (17/Westheim, both DKR Engineering).
Laurents Hörr (25/Gerlingen, Koiranen Kemppi Motorsport) moved to the front after the start. It took just two laps for the German driver to build up a lead of nearly two seconds over Oscar Tunjo, and he extended this to more than five seconds just before the pit-stop window opened. At that point, Tunjo headed for the pits and handed over his Duqueine to Julien Apothéloz. Leader Hörr pitted one lap later; Matthias Lüthen (42/Hamburg) was at the wheel as the Duqueine from Koiranen returned to the track. Further back, Gabriela Jílková (28/CZE, van ommen racing by DataLab) had her work cut out defending ninth place from the ultimately unsuccessful efforts of Robin Rogalski. The order changed after the driver handover: Valentino Catalano, now at the wheel of the Duqueine from Rogalski, had moved ahead of Xavier Lloveras (23/ESP, van ommen racing by DataLab).
After the stop was completed, Lüthen tried everything to keep Apothéloz behind him for as long as possible, only for the Swiss racer to launch a brave overtaking manoeuvre and pass the Trophy driver through turn one. The Hamburg native was then able to keep Gary Hauser in check for a few laps but was forced to admit defeat in the battle for second place. Catalano followed Hauser’s example shortly afterwards, knocking Lüthen out of the podium positions.
A short time later, Gustavo Kiryla (29/BRA, BWT Mücke Motorsport) ended up in the crash barriers as he attempted to avoid part of another car that was lying on the track. His accident prompted the appearance of the safety car, neutralising the race until the finish. The duo Tunjo / Apothéloz then celebrated victory ahead of Pommer / Hauser and Rogalski / Catalano. The 17-year-old Catalano in particular delivered some thrilling racing as he climbed from tenth place up to third during his stint. Hörr / Lüthen took the chequered flag in fourth, ahead of Max van der Snel (19/NLD)/ Mark van der Snel (52/NLD, both More Motorsport by Reiter). Jílková / Lloveras, Sebastian von Gartzen (30/Butzbach) / Maximilian Hackländer (33/Rüthen, both Konrad Motorsport) and single starter Danny Soufi (19/USA, Konrad Motorsport) completed the top eight. Apothéloz was the best Junior, while Lüthen was the best Trophy participant.
Markus Pommer – second place for Racing Experience “I made a pretty good start as I didn’t want to take too many risks. I was quite happy later on too, apart from perhaps one aspect: I think I went a bit too easy on the tyres in the middle of my stint, meaning that I didn’t give Gary the chance to attack again at the end. I’m still happy with second place, as we have scored some good points.”
Gary Hauser – second place for Racing Experience “I had to find the right rhythm when I took over the car from Markus. I had to take more of a risk than I intended to get past a lapped car. I came up on Matthias later on, but he defended well. I was only able to get past when he made a mistake. However, Julien was already well away by then and second place was the best we could achieve.”
Robin Rogalski– third place for DKR Engineering “I didn’t start well but I am pleased with our race overall. I haven’t yet chalked up too many kilometres in the LMP3 car and I learned a lot today – especially because I was driving behind Gaby for a long time. That was good practice for me, training how to battle for positions with a car like this.”
Valentino Catalano – third place for DKR Engineering “It was a great race and it really was a lot of fun. I took over the car in tenth place and gave it everything from the word go. I was able to overtake Matthias just before the safety car to secure third place. However, I have to say that Robin also did a good job during his stint. That was half the battle in terms of reaching the podium.”