Laurens Vanthoor has confirmed that he will return for a second season in the ATS German F3 Cup, having re-signed with Van Amersfoort Racing and Volkswagen.
Voted as rookie of the year by the Belgian motorsport federation after jumping straight into F3 from a successful karting career and recording two wins, six second places, three poles and two fastest laps, Vanthoor will look to improve on his fourth position in the overall standings and sees the continuity of running with Van Amersfoort as crucial to his efforts.
"Continuity is important, and the fact that the three parties involved [in 2008] are back together for a second successive season must add to the overall success," he commented, “I'll be back once again with Van Amersfoort Racing and, on top of that, I have a contract with VW Motorsport, the perfect environment for a driver and sportsman to grow. There's top quality support and guidance and this is undoubtedly a priority if you are looking to succeed in single-seater racing.
"We make no secret of our ambition. Together, we want to battle it out for the championship, win races and finish as high as possible in the final overall rankings. On a personal front, I now know the circuits, the cars, some of the opponents and all this experience together makes me stronger, which obviously will bear its fruits.”
Vanthoor admits that being given a contract by Volkswagen Motorsport is an important confidence booster, especially given the company's increasing role in F3 internationally.
“There's no doubt about it, I'll be able to gather experience in highly professional surroundings but, at the same time, their sights are also on all aspects of the motorsport," he noted, "As a driver, I will be able to carry out loads of testing and everyone knows that clocking up kilometres forms an essential component of the learning curve, so I'll be able to work on my future under optimal conditions.
"However, the close ties with Van Amersfoort Racing are equally important. The team provides perfect work, have highly professional team members and there is a mutual trust. All that remains is for us to work hard, together to focus on the job and then I reckon we should be in for a most enjoyable season in the ATS F3 Cup.”
Vanthoor will be partnered by Dutch rookie Stef Dusseldorp when the season kicks off at Oschersleben over 11-12 April.