F3

AUSF3: Astuti Motorsport Symmons Plains preview

TRIMBLE SET FOR TASMANIAN TILT The misfortune that dogged Astuti Motorsport's Michael Trimble in last weekends AGP Formula 3 support races is firmly behind the team, as they enter this weekends second round of the 2006 Kumho Tyres ...

TRIMBLE SET FOR TASMANIAN TILT

The misfortune that dogged Astuti Motorsport's Michael Trimble in last weekends AGP Formula 3 support races is firmly behind the team, as they enter this weekends second round of the 2006 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship for the CAMS Gold Star at Tasmania's Symmons Plains Raceway.

Trimble and the Kings Springs Renault-Sodemo Dallara F304 were the standout combination last weekend at Albert Park, comfortably topping practice and qualifying, before an ultimately frustrating weekend riddled with misfortune across the four races.

"What happened at the Grand Prix happened and there is nothing we can do about it," said Trimble, "so we just have to accept it, bite the bullet and move along.

"The one positive we can take away from it is that we had awesome speed, all of our hard work paid off in that respect. So that's something we're looking to carry into this weekend, and hopefully we can also have a weekend that which was a bit more fortunate than last weekend."

Having crossed Bass Strait on Monday, the Astuti Motorsport outfit have been working in recent days preparing the car for this weekends pair of races. As part of the build-up, Trimble took to the track yesterday, Wednesday, for a wet test session.

"Testing was really good," said team owner Sam Astuti. "It was good for us to do some testing in the wet, we learnt a lot. If the weekend turns and there is a big shower, we've got some valuable information to fall-back on.

"On Tuesday and Wednesday, we worked hard on the car to get it back to where it should be after the couple of scratches that it's had, and then concentrated on making sure it would be fast again.

"It's all systems go from here, everything is good, we'll just have to play along with the weather. We're happy with how things are shaping up."

While Trimble was at first hesitant to take part in the Australian Formula 3 test day, he, like Astuti, feels it was worthwhile.

"It was good, we didn't spend a great deal of time on the track - I don't think we got out onto the track until about 1:30 - but we did make the most of the time that we spent out there," the 21-year old explained.

"I wasn't sure whether it would be the right thing to do, go out on track and use one of our test days on a wet session, but it actually turned out to be quite a productive day for us.

"When I first went out, the wet weather setup we had was lacking in a couple of areas. We quickly turned that around and actually ended up with a really good wet weather setup, which may benefit us some place down the track, maybe even this weekend, so it was a good day."

Trimble currently sits second in the championship after a pair of podium finishes in last month's season opener at Wakefield Park. He has never raced at Symmons Plains, but his impressions of the circuit in testing lead him to believe it will be a competitive weekend.

"It's a good little track," says Trimble, who won four F3 races in 2005 en-route to second in the Championship.

"Turn 1 is quite tricky with the big bump in the middle of it, which livens it up a little bit, but aside from that it's a good, fun track.

"You've got a bit of everything. It's got a fast corner, a really slow corner and a technical corner. It's really only got three corners, but it gives a lot for what it's got.

"Because there's only three corners on the track, it's really hard to be a great deal to be faster than anyone else. I think it's going to be a close grid and close racing this weekend, hopefully with us right at the front of it."

-am-

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Series F3