German title decided: Pantano scoops crown

Giorgio Pantano sealed the German F3 title with ease at Hockenheim on Saturday

German title decided: Pantano scoops crown

The 21-year-old Italian, driving for the Swiss-based KMS team which previously took Jarno Trulli to the title, benefited from controversy over qualifying times, which saw him elevated to the front row after he was only eighth fastest in the session. But yellow flag infringements promoted him to second, and he blasted into the lead when polesitter Stefan Mucke made a poor getaway.

Alexander Muller, who had an outside shot at the title, lost pole position as a result of the excluded times but rocketed into second place from third on the grid. He was quite literally powerless to hold off Mucke, who blasted past both him and Pantano by the time they arrived at the Jim Clark chicane.

Mucke romped away to a 3.4s win over Muller, who wrested third from Pantano halfway through the race. Pantano also surrendered a position to Tony Schmidt, but his fourth place was enough to give him the title in his first full year of car racing, as main title rival Pierre Kaffer could only finish seventh while Andre Lotterer, who led the series mid-season, spun off on the warm-up lap.

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German F3 showdown: Pantano under pressure
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