Sachsenring race 1: Winkelhock walks it

Markus Winkelhock kept his cool during a chaotic seventh round of the German Formula 3 championship at Sachsenring today (Saturday), held in wet but drying conditions

Sachsenring race 1: Winkelhock walks it

The German's ADAC Dallara-Opel grabbed the lead at the second corner from front row man Joao Paulo de Oliveira (SRT Dallara-Opel), while series leader Toshihiro Kaneishi (BSR Dallara-Opel) made a poor start from pole. De Oliveira then exited stage right, spinning all on his own on the exit of Audi corner, promoting Winkelhock's team mate Stefan Mucke to second.

Kaneishi held third, just ahead of his former series leading team mate Frank Diefenbacher, while some opening lap chaos promoted seventh row starters Kari Maenpaa (SRT Dallara-Opel) and Gary Paffett (Rosberg Dallara-Renault) up to fifth and six.

Winkelhock had extended a 4.3sec lead over Mucke when the latter's car cut out and he was forced out on lap four. That promoted the Kaneishi/Diefenbacher fight up to second, with Paffett soon dealing with Maenpaa to take fourth.

Paffett, who started 13th, set a series of fastest laps to reel in those ahead, but got delayed when Diefenbacher lunged past Kaneishi at the Sachsenkurve and fell into the clutches of Italy's Matteo Grassotto (Cram Dallara-Opel). Grassotto then drove into the back of Paffett on the start/finish straight, removing his own left front wing and damaging Paffett's right-rear tyre, forcing the Briton into the pits.

Kaneishi never gave up on re-passing Diefenbacher for second, and pulled off a fine move on the German with just two laps to go at the Queckenberg-Besico curve. Diefenbacher fought back, but failed to retake the runner-up spot by 0.2secs.

Hannes Lachinger (GM Dallara-Toyota) stayed out of trouble to take fourth, ahead of Grassotto and Maenpaa.


Markus Winkelhock, ADAC Dallara F300-Opel, 22 laps
Toshihiro Kaneishi, BSR Dallara F301-Opel, +4.0s
Frank Diefenbacher, BSR Dallara F301-Opel, +4.2s
Hannes Lachinger, GM Motorsport Dallara F301-Toyota, +7.7s
Matteo Grassotto, Cram Competition Dallara F301-Opel, +13.8s
Kari Maenpaa, Swiss Tony Racing Team Dallara F399-Opel, +14.3s

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