LINDBOM MAKES EXCELLENT AUSTRALIAN FORMULA 3 DEBUT
November 29, 2009: Kristian Lindbom has completed an outstanding debut in the Australian Formula 3 Championship for Astuti Motorsport, taking his Dallara F304 to a second place in the National Class in both today's races at Sandown, his first race experience in a wings and slicks car.
Race one this morning saw the Melbourne-based 20-year-old come within a tenth of a second of cracking the top four -- a phenomenal effort in the changeable circuit conditions, reminiscent of those which saw him record his first Formula Ford pole and victory some years ago.
After being caught up with a backmarker on the final circulation, Mitch Evans got a better run onto the front straight and used the superior grip of his 07 model car to grab the slipstream and pip Lindbom right on the line. Despite that, Kristian was still the best of the Astuti Motorsport runners, which included recently crowned Formula BMW Pacific Champion, Rio Haryanto.
The second race this afternoon degenerated into chaos with a heavy downpour through the race. With cars spearing off the circuit everywhere, Kristian had a brake issue which saw him take the conservative route after a Safety Car period in an effort just to finish -- however still recorded a second in the National class.
Lindbom missed practice one on Friday when a fuel pump failure brought him to a stop on his out lap, however he struck back Friday afternoon to finish the session ninth, not having the advantage of new tyres, but again losing track time after a small off brought an end to his session -- his first in an F3 car.
Overnight, he was horrified to discover that his HANS device had been stolen from the team transporter. A hastily sourced replacement saw him ready for an attack on the Quick Six qualifying format.
He became considerably more confident with the car, qualifying eighth and ninth respectively for the two races. Data showed the early part of his lap was faster than vastly more experienced team-mate, Mat Sofi, who was driving the newer model F307 car.
The Formula 3 SuperPrix was the first race start that Lindbom has had since the final round of the Australian Formula Ford Championship at the end of 2008.
All in all, it was an outstanding introduction to F3 for Lindbom, who walks away with a lot of confidence and is looking towards putting a program together for a full season of racing in 2010.
"I'm relatively happy with my Formula 3 debut, but at the same time a little frustrated I couldn't have finished further up the field.
"I gained a lot of confidence from my first race, I just can't believe Mitch got me on the run to the line. The second race I just wanted to finish, I could feel there was an issue, so I just had to do what I could to bring the car home.
"Despite that, the times I was setting were still pretty comparative to the 07 drivers, so from that perspective I was close to the pace. To be second home in National Class for both races is a good effort.
"Having my HANS device stolen really unsettled me heading into qualifying. It's not something that you expect and I would hope somebody may feel as though they can come forward and return it either to Astuti Motorsport or Formula 3 Australia, no questions asked. I have to thank Peter Hackett for lending me his HANS at such short notice.
"As the weekend went on, I became more confident in the grip levels that were available to me. With more race miles under my belt this year, I'm sure I could have gone even better.
"From now on, it's about trying to put together a program for next year.
"I have to thank Racer Parts, a web-based company launching soon, along with Sam Astuti and the Astuti Motorsport team for their assistance in giving me the opportunity to race this weekend and of course Peter Hackett for his assistance."