F3

AUSF3: Astuti Motorsport Oran Park race report

A CLEAN SWEEP FOR ASTUTI AS HOLLINGS DOMINATES AT ORAN PARK They say good things come to those who wait -- and that adage was proved true at the weekend when Astuti Motorsport took a rare clean-sweep of a round in the Kumho Tyres Australian ...

A CLEAN SWEEP FOR ASTUTI AS HOLLINGS DOMINATES AT ORAN PARK

They say good things come to those who wait -- and that adage was proved true at the weekend when Astuti Motorsport took a rare clean-sweep of a round in the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship since the end of the 2005 season.

British driver Charlie Hollings dominated at Oran Park at the weekend, scoring two pole positions, two race wins and a fastest lap in race one to vault both himself and Astuti Motorsport into championship contention.

Hollings is now second in the championship with 51 points, compared to leader Tim Macrow's 62.

After proving their potential at the non-championship ING Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix in Melbourne a month ago, the Hollings -- Astuti combination gelled perfectly at Oran Park to be clearly the fastest car by the end of the weekend.

Hollings lead cleanly away in both races and whilst he was never able to extend his margin to more than 2.5 seconds, he was never troubled out in front and took 43 points out of a possible 44 away from the weekend.

In qualifying the Astuti Motorsport #11 Segafredo Zanetti / F3gear.com.au / Hollings Pet Treats Dallara F304 Renault took pole position for race one by .05s and the second by a similarly negligible .07s -- proving the level of competition within the championship he topped on Saturday.

Hollings was full of praise for his adopted Australian family that he has completed just three race meetings with, since arriving in Australia earlier this year.

"The team has done just an outstanding job," he enthused.

"The test day we did last week has been one of the best things that could happen to us. Before that Sam (Astuti, team owner) and James (Waterman, engineer) hadn't had a really good chance to work together and find out what each other liked.

"We had a very productive test day and that resulted in us coming into this weekend feeling very confident."

"I think it was always close in qualifying but by the end of the weekend it looked like we had the advantage to everyone which is what we really wanted," Hollings added.

"Testing was the key for us because it was great to have a test day and work together to log some laps and dial ourselves in. It's so good it feels like I could go faster!

"Albert Park was great (He won twice) to get some results but to be honest this feels so much better," Hollings added.

"We needed the championship points and I really wanted this. Two poles and two wins are really satisfying and it's really helped our championship -- it was important for us."

Team Owner Sam Astuti, who has tasted Formula 3 success with the likes of Michael Trimble, Chris Alajajian and Sam Abay in the past, said that Hollings' performance was essentially faultless.

"It has been a great weekend for our team," Astuti said.

"The guys have done a fantastic job. The test day last week gave us a good opportunity to work together with Charlie and get the car sorted and it has paid off this weekend.

"Charlie drove brilliantly and led all the way. We couldn't have asked for more and we can go to Phillip Island knowing that we are the pacesetters."

Astuti Motorsport have also recently welcomed the support of Segafredo Zanetti coffee, ensuring that the team can now claim both to be the team with the best coffee in pit lane as well as being winners on track!

-credit: www.astutimotorsport.com

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About this article
Series F3
Drivers Chris Alajajian , Sam Abay , Tim Macrow , Charlie Hollings , Phillip Island