GOLD STAR BATTLE TIED UP AS INTENSITY GOES UP A NOTCH AT QR THE FIGHT for the 2009 Formula 3 Australian Driver's Championship has reached a new level of intensity after two race wins under the Queensland sun lifted Tim Macrow to the joint-lead...
GOLD STAR BATTLE TIED UP AS INTENSITY GOES UP A NOTCH AT QR
THE FIGHT for the 2009 Formula 3 Australian Driver's Championship has reached a new level of intensity after two race wins under the Queensland sun lifted Tim Macrow to the joint-lead of the points race with Joey Foster.
Meanwhile, 19-year-old Sydney driver Tom Tweedie wrapped up the F3 National Class for 2004-spec cars after taking two class wins today, capping off a remarkable season that has seen him win his class ten times from twelve races.
The ever growing outright battle between Cornwall (UK) driver Foster and Victorian Macrow - and also their respective teams, Team BRM and Scud Racing - reached its zenith in race one this morning as the pair staged an almighty duel for the win.
Macrow eventually fought off attack after attack by Foster to record the victory and then backed it up with a more straightforward drive in the second race to take out both 12-lap affairs, the first time he has ever won both races in an F3 round during his glittering career.
A pair of seconds, coupled with his race one pole position, was enough to ensure that Foster retains a share of the championship lead as the Gold Star fight heads to Oran Park in just five days time.
"It was a great weekend for us, really the ideal result," Macrow said.
"Race one was intense. At one stage I ran off the track at turn two and was bouncing through the dirt but there was no way I was going to lift!
"That little trip broke the suspension at the back and made the car really hard to get off the corners which left me open to attack so it was a huge challenge, but in the end we got the result.
"I nailed both starts - that was a huge help. The car was fantastic all weekend and performed well during both races so well done to the team for their hard work.
"With Oran Park next week the pressure will remain on but we have never lost sight that we could win this thing. Now we're tied up its back to square one and it's going to be a lot of fun."
Though Foster twice finished second, he at least agreed with Macrow that the quest for the title really started now.
"It's obvious that we would have liked to have got more points from this weekend, but that's the way it is," Foster said.
"It was a really tough weekend. Race one was just a tough battle with Tim the whole way. There was only one move when I thought perhaps he moved more than he should have at turn one - but we're both racing for a championship so we are both pushing very hard.
"It is on from here and we're looking forward to going to Oran Park next week."
Macrow got a perfect start in race one and led Foster to turn one however, once his Kumho rubber was warm, Foster began applying relentless pressure to the back of the #25 Scud Racing machine.
The pair ran side by side though turns three, four and five early in the race and were also alongside each other into the near-flat, 5th gear turn one as both cars got air over the notorious QR bumps during a remarkable battle.
With every attack the Team BRM Dallara threw at Macrow, the Scud Racer responded by placing his car in the ideal location and holding his closest rival for the Gold Star off.
Behind the warring two fighting for the lead, Mat Sofi and Ben Crighton each scored a podium finish and continued their close dice for third in the championship. Crighton passed Sofi for third in race one and was on course for a similar result in race two - before he ran wide and damaged the underside of his car, costing him car speed and the position.
Sofi finished third in race two and set fastest lap in the process in a case of ‘what could have been' for his weekend after enduring dramas in Friday practice, and then in qualifying when a rear suspension mount broke away from the gearbox, necessitating a last-minute change overnight.
In the F3 National class the most competitive field of the weekend still had to face the ever impressive Tom Tweedie, who wrapped up the class this weekend.
Chris Gilmour led the class in race one before a mysterious mechanical issue struck the #17 car down just one corner from the flag, allowing 16-year-old Rio Haryanto through. Haryanto was looking good for a strong result in race two before he was given a black flag and a drive through penalty for jumping the start whilst Gilmour again failed to finish.
In the National ‘B' Class for 2001-spec cars Queenslander Andrew Mill, the 2008 Trophy Champion, showed impressive pace in his Scarborough Holiday Parks F301 - Spiess, mixing it on lap speed with the National Class contenders.
UK-based South African driver Peter Kalpakiotis finished second on two occasions on his visit to Australia to race.
The next round of the Formula 3 Australian Driver's Championship for the CAMS Gold Star award will be contested at Oran Park Raceway next week (Aug 28 - 30) with the Shannons Nationals.
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