F3

AUSF3: Astuti Motorsport Albert Park Sunday report

FRUSTRATING END TO A SHATTERING WEEKEND FOR TRIMBLE The Dodo Australian Formula 3 support races to the Fosters Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix wrapped up today, and it ended with yet more disappointment for Astuti Motorsport's Michael ...

FRUSTRATING END TO A SHATTERING WEEKEND FOR TRIMBLE

The Dodo Australian Formula 3 support races to the Fosters Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix wrapped up today, and it ended with yet more disappointment for Astuti Motorsport's Michael Trimble.

The Melbournian started the fourth and final race of the weekend from seventh place, but quickly progressed up the order in the Kings Springs Renault-Sodemo Dallara F304.

He settled into fourth place, right behind Tim Macrow and the pair spent the next seven laps battling, with Macrow's defensive driving preventing the visibly quicker Trimble from getting past.

"I was being held up massively by Tim Macrow, who was defending, very, very aggressively the whole way through the race," Trimble said. "He was defending so aggressively, and actually broke my front wing endplate off halfway down the front straight on one of the laps, trying to carve me up."

"I was right in Macrow's aero-wash, which unfortunately caused me to lose grip coming onto the front straight and hit the wall at the end of the penultimate lap."

It ended his race, and a crushing weekend, that promised so much after Trimble showed scorching pace in practice and qualifying on Thursday.

"I've been waiting for this weekend since January last year, when I knew I wasn't going to be able to race in the F3 races here last year," said a dejected Trimble, "I've been waiting for the 2006 Grand Prix ever since then.

"Sam, the team and I have worked extremely hard and put so much effort and time into making sure our preparation, planning, and everything else was perfect for this weekend so we could have our best shot at getting four wins.

"Obviously, we had it right, in practice we were fastest, and in qualifying we got pole by a huge margin. Everything was looking like it was going to be the fairytale weekend we've been hoping for all this time.

"We had one mistake at the start of Race 1, when I stalled, and since then it's been a snowballing effect, getting worse and worse.

"I'm just extremely upset and frustrated. It's been one of those weekends.

"I would be shattered to have this much bad luck happen in the space of twelve months, let alone four days, so I'm hoping that's it, and it's all out of the way this weekend."

Straight from Albert Park, the team head to Tasmania's Symmons Plains Raceway for next weekend's - April 7-9 - second round of the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship for the CAMS Gold Star.

While, like Trimble, Astuti Motorsport team owner Sam Astuti was disappointed with the way the weekend panned out, he is sure that the team will bounce back.

"At the start of the weekend, we were on the top of the world, we couldn't have asked for any better," said Astuti. "A second quicker in qualifying, half a second under the lap record in the first race, it was like a dream start to the weekend. But after that, it just turned very badly.

"We'll go down to Tasmania tomorrow [Monday], work hard, get the car ready for the test day on Wednesday and the weekend's races.

"I'm sure we will bounce back; it just comes down to hard work now to get the speed out of it again and get back on top."

-am-

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Series F3
Drivers Tim Macrow