Australian international Marcus Marshall has broken-through to score his first championship points in the cut-throat British Formula 3 Championship. The Fortec Motorsport driver, who has been campaigning in the open-wheeler series for the...
Australian international Marcus Marshall has broken-through to score his first championship points in the cut-throat British Formula 3 Championship.
The Fortec Motorsport driver, who has been campaigning in the open-wheeler series for the past few rounds and steadily bringing himself up to speed despite his F3 inexperience, had a solid run in the weekend's two rounds at Donington.
After lowly qualifying performances, the 26-year-old Gold Coaster was in scintillating form in the two races. The first event was held in the wet and, from 15th on the grid, Marshall had charged through to eighth place until being nudged into a spin by Indian driver Karun Chandhok at the Melbourne Hairpin.
"Both my team-mate James (Rossiter) and I struggled with the setup in qualifying but we had a good think about it and changed things for the first race," said Marshall.
"I got going after the spin and worked my way back to ninth. I got caught out by Fairuz Fauzy braking a bit earlier than I expected and broke my front wing."
After pitting to replace the wing, Marshall headed back out into the race with the sole purpose of setting the race's fastest lap, for which a championship point is the reward.
While he was pipped to it by just four-hundredths of a second by Nelson Piquet Jr, the Queenslander was able to finish ninth, aided by his calculating driving in the wet conditions and the heavy attrition rate that accounted for some of his over-enthusiastic rivals.
In the second race, Marshall started from 14th and managed to work his way into 11th place after a great dice with fellow Australian (and former Formula Ford rival back home), Will Power.
The next rounds are scheduled to be the last of Marshall's British F3 campaign at Oulton Park, however the former Australian Carrera Cup ace could potentially stay for a few extra F3 events.
"Oulton Park is going to be tough because everyone's done four to six days of testing there this year and it's a fast circuit I've never been to. It probably will be one of those rounds where we'll be playing catch up all weekend.
"There's a good chance I might kick on and stay for some additional races at Silverstone and Thruxton before I head home for the V8 Supercar endurances races at Sandown and Bathurst.
"We've been working away at the car and we're inching closer and closer to getting a better result. I'd really like to stay around and see that through."
Marshall also has an appointment with a round of the Porsche Supercup, his prize for winning the Under-30 Driver To Europe pointscore drive in last year's Australian Carrera Cup.
Which round he contests is yet to be determined, but he is ready and raring to step back into one of the 400-horsepower machines in which he performed so well last year.
"I'm waiting to hear back about the arrangements for that and I want to make sure there's not a clash with my F3 program. It will be great to get back behind the wheel of a Porsche. I drove in the Indianapolis Supercup round last year and it was a great experience."