TOM TWEEDIE BREAKS THROUGH FOR MAIDEN VICTORY THEY SAY GOOD THINGS come to those who wait - and in the case of Sydney driver Tom Tweedie, he's been waiting a while. Nineteen Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship starts had passed without...
TOM TWEEDIE BREAKS THROUGH FOR MAIDEN VICTORY
THEY SAY GOOD THINGS come to those who wait - and in the case of Sydney driver Tom Tweedie, he's been waiting a while.
Nineteen Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship starts had passed without a race win for the 20-year-old but today, in race start number 20, he knocked his title rivals on their head with a stunning victory at Symmons Plains raceway in a race that had just about everything.
Starting from third, Tweedie jumped to second on lap one when pole sitter Ben Barker slipped wide and stopped at the hairpin after battling for the lead with teammate, Andrew Waite.
A safety car was called for the stranded Barker car - who recovered without losing a lap - and from there on in Tweedie pressured leader Waite for the next ten laps, never allowing the Team BRM Dallara to get more than a one-second advantage.
Tweedie then closed for several laps before tucking into the tow and passing the leader into turn six with just four laps to go.
It would turn out to be a decisive time to pass with a safety car called the following lap that essentially ended the race there and then, delivering Tweedie a thrilling victory at the last minute.
Tweedie's triumph was the first time that a 2004-specification Dallara had won a race outright against the newer machinery that's now the mainstay of the F3ADC competition.
"We knew the car came on and got better and better as the race progressed so it was a case of waiting for the right moment," a delighted Tweedie said post-race.
"Our car comes on strong and I got a great tow - we've good straight line speed - and I slipped past into the final corner. I expected him to fight back with his grip advantage but I held him wide and it turned out to be just the right moment.
"This is a great result for our team," he added.
"It's been a lot of hard work but we knew we would be a chance at this track, so it's great to take advantage of it and get the first one. It's good for our championship, too."
Waite was philosophical after scoring a second-place finish on his F3 debut.
"The light rain that fell at the end caught me out a little bit and I slowed a bit earlier for the hairpin," he explained.
"I then got a bit wide on exit and that was all he (Tom) needed to get in my tow. They've got more straight line than me so there wasn't a huge amount I could do, especially when the safety car came out.
"Not a bad start, though, given it was my first race so I'm still pretty pleased."
The drivers that finished in third and fourth, respectively, Kristian Lindbom and Ben Barker, had to do it the hard way after both were forced to work their way from the back.
Lindbom stalled at the line, but caught Barker as he recovered from his turn-four, lap one off at the hairpin.
On the restart both charged through the field before settling into their own battle for third place, Lindbom pulling off an audacious move around the outside of the hairpin to take the spot on lap eight in a battle that lasted the entire length of the back straight.
John Magro had a quiet race to finish fifth, one ahead of local lad Josh Burdon who beat the pre-race nerves with a strong run to sixth in his first race.
Jesse Wakeman finished seventh and Zhang Shan Qi was classified a non-finisher after an unfortunate spin into the turn two sand trap ended a promising day whilst running inside the top six.
-source: aus f3