EVANS DELIVERS WITH UNDER-PRESSURE WAKEFIELD WIN MITCH EVANS has swept all three races in the opening round of the 2010 Formula 3 Australian Drivers' Championship but as usual, the stats only tell part of the story. It took a massive effort...
EVANS DELIVERS WITH UNDER-PRESSURE WAKEFIELD WIN
MITCH EVANS has swept all three races in the opening round of the 2010 Formula 3 Australian Drivers' Championship but as usual, the stats only tell part of the story.
It took a massive effort from the 15-year-old Kiwi this weekend to hold off a fired-up Ben Crighton, who applied immense pressure to Evans in each of today's two races at Wakefield Park, near Goulburn, in New South Wales.
Evans won the sprint race this morning and the longer 25-lap feature this afternoon but had to drive on lap-record pace to stave off Crighton's TanderSport machine.
On the very edge for every lap, the pair traded quickest laps in the feature before Evans did enough to secure the win and take an historic 100th national championship-level race victory for Adelaide's Team BRM.
The team has 98 wins in Formula 3 at an outright and class level, and two in Formula Ford.
"It's been a great weekend, Ben drove so well all day and put huge pressure on," Evans said.
"Huge thanks to the team for their efforts, the car has been perfect and it's great to have been able to give them this success this weekend. It's a quality field and it was very tough out there so this is a very good start to our championship."
Crighton's second place capped off a career best weekend for the New Zealander, who leaves Wakefield Park with the outright lap record and second in the championship.
"Obviously it would have been nice to have won a race this weekend but it's been a good weekend overall," he said.
"To be able to come away with the lap record is nice and we put a lot of pressure on Mitch. The car was fantastic all weekend and the team has done a superb job as always so thanks to TanderSport. It's a good start to the season."
Whilst the leaders applied massive pressure on each other all day, the same could be said for the dice for third; Tom Tweedie and Ben Barker executing a 25-lap, nose-to-tail dice for third in the feature race.
Tweedie capped off his excellent weekend by holding on to third place, ensuring that he finished on the podium in all three races this weekend. The Sydneysider has also secured a top three championship position and the National Class (for the older-model F304 Dallara's) win this weekend.
"It's been fantastic to be racing with the '07s and fighting hard all weekend, Ben (Barker) and I had about 40-laps nose-to-tail today and it was great fun," Tweedie said.
"The 07s are better under brakes and through the kink, but my car had good drive out of the corners and it was enough to hold him off. This has been a productive start to the year and it's obviously great to be third overall. Thanks to the team - the car was fantastic."
Ben Barker finished fourth today, capping off a solid Formula 3 debut for the 18-year-old British driver.
Birthday boy John Magro was second in the National Class and fifth overall in his R-Tek Dallara whilst Zhang Shan Qi had a solid learning weekend in his PTRS-sponsored BRM Dallara with sixth.
The new three-race format was almost universally-praised this weekend with the pair of short, 15-minute sprints producing close racing whilst the longer feature race introduced an added element of strategy and endurance to the round.
Round two of the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship will be held at Launceston's Symmons Plains Raceway on April 10-11, 2010.