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Markelov keeps Kirchhofer behind to win race three at Lausitz

by Valentin Khorounzhiy

Photo: formel3.de

Motopark racer Artem Markelov has taken his second victory of the 2013 German F3 season, holding his charging teammate Marvin Kirchhofer back in the closing stages of an intense race three at Lausitz.

Both Markelov and poleman Emil Bernstorff got a good enough launch off the front row, going side-by-side into turn one, with Markelov emerging out of the first sector as the new race leader. Just like in race one, the duo were out front yet again, while Kirchhofer, following his exclusion from qualifying, was forced to fight his way through the grid.

However, this time the non-Lotus teams weren’t quite as outpaced, with John Bryant-Meisner and Gustavo Menezes appearing to keep up with Markelov and Bernstorff. Their pursuit soon paid off, when the leaders hit lapped traffic – while Markelov navigated it with little trouble, Bernstorff was significantly held up by Andreas Germann. The Briton was forced to slow down and, in the chain reaction that followed, he was passed by Bryant-Meisner and Menezes, as well as a very quick Kirchhofer, who by that point caught up with the leading group.

In the closing stages of the race, Markelov suddenly began slowing significantly, with Bryant-Meisner, Kirchhofer and Menezes bunching up behind him. The championship leader quickly dispatched with the American for P3 and then overtook the Swede with a masterful pass around the outside. His teammate, however, proved to be a much more difficult target, managing to narrowly keep Kirchhofer at bay at the checkered flag by 0.2s.

Bryant-Meisner rounded out the podium in third place, ahead of Menezes and Bernstorff. Tomasz Krzeminski was once again sixth, narrowly keeping Matteo Cairoli behind.

Sebastian Balthasar took another Trophy win, while Nabil Jeffri and Nikita Zlobin rounded out the top ten.

In the standings, Kirchhofer leads Markelov by 94 points and is quite likely to seal his title during the penultimate round at Oschersleben. Bernstorff sits third in the standings, 30 points behind Markelov.

Race results
Pos. Driver Cl. Team Time/Gap
1 Artem Markelov C Lotus 24 laps in 31:01.612
2 Marvin Kirchhofer C Lotus +0.233
3 John Bryant-Meisner C Performance Racing +1.304
4 Gustavo Menezes C Van Amersfoort +1.873
5 Emil Bernstorff C Lotus +3.630
6 Tomasz Krzeminski C Performance Racing +22.622
7 Matteo Cairoli C ADM Motorsport +22.903
8 Sebastian Balthasar T GU-Racing +28.660
9 Nabil Jeffri C EuroInternational +28.965
10 Nikita Zlobin C ADM Motorsport +40.678
11 Nicolai Sylvest C JBR Motorsport +41.222
12 Christopher Hoher T Franz Woss Racing +48.570
13 Freddy Killensberger T GU-Racing +57.852
14 Andreas Germann T CR Racing Team +2 laps
15 Stefan Neuburger T Franz Woss Racing +2 laps
Not classified
Frank Debruyne T CR Racing Team +13 laps
DNS Sheban Siddiqi C Lotus
DNS Maximilian Hackl T Franz Woss Racing