N'ring race 1: Kaffer scores first win of season

Pierre Kaffer broke Frank Diefenbacher's stranglehold on the German Formula 3 Championship by winning round three at the Nurburgring today (Saturday)

N'ring race 1: Kaffer scores first win of season

Kaffer made a textbook start from pole, while fellow front row starter Diefenbacher was slow away. Not only was he ambushed by the ADAC-backed cars of Stefan Mucke and Markus Winkelhock, the series leader was then tipped into a spin by Bjorn Wirdheim, although Bernhard Auinger was also fingered as a culprit, triggering a six-car pile-up at the first corner.

After a safety car phase, Kaffer pulled away from Mucke and Winkelhock to an effortless victory. Kousuke Matsuura stayed out of trouble and picked his way through the carnage to take fourth, ahead of Tom van Bavel, Toshihiro Kaneishi and Kimmo Liimatainen.

Britain's Gary Paffett, who started 16th after suffering from an unbalanced set of tyres in qualifying, stormed his way through to eighth, fending off a strong challenge from Hungarian racer Zsolt Baumgartner along the way. The duo banged wheels violently at the Veedol Chicane on lap 16, sending Paffett high into the air. The Englishman not only stayed on the track but repassed Baumgartner in a sensational move at the next corner.

"I wasn't going to let him finish ahead of me after that!" quipped Paffett. "He locked up and went wide but, instead of straightlining the chicane, he cut over the kerbs and hit me. There was a bit of damage but the car felt all right. I got a good run on him coming out of the last corner, got in the tow and outbraked him at the first corner"

Diefenbacher, who dropped to 25th after his first corner spin, battled his way through to 13th at the flag, but out of the points.


1 Pierre Kaffer, Team Kolles Dallara F301-Mugen, 18 laps
2 Stefan Mucke, ADDC Dallara F300-Opel, +2.0s
3 Markus Winkelhock, ADDC Dallara F300-Opel, +3.1s
4 Kousuke Matsuura, Prema Dallara F301-Opel, +6.5
5 Tom van Bavel, JB Motorsport, Dallara F399-Opel, +7.5s
6 Toshihiro Kaneishi, BSR Dallara F301-Opel, +10.7s
7 Kimmo Liimatainen, Swiss Tony Racing Team Dallara F301-Renault, +15.0s
8 Gary Paffett, Rosberg Dallara F301-Renault, +18.0s
9 Zsolt Baumgartner, Trella Dallara F301-Opel, +18.5s
10 Giuseppe Burlotti, KMS Dallara F399-Opel, +19.1s


1 Diefenbacher 43
2 Kaffer 33
3 Mucke 30
4 Kaneishi 26
5 Winkelhock 22
6 Paffett 18

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Qualifying: Diefenbacher’s 100% record broken
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