ASTUTI AND TRIMBLE BACK TO TEST NEW DALLARA AT ORAN PARK The car that won the 2007 British F3 International Championship will make its Australian on-track debut at Oran Park Raceway this April with Astuti Motorsport. Astuti will run the car at...
ASTUTI AND TRIMBLE BACK TO TEST NEW DALLARA AT ORAN PARK
The car that won the 2007 British F3 International Championship will make its Australian on-track debut at Oran Park Raceway this April with Astuti Motorsport.
Astuti will run the car at an Oran Park test day mid-April with former driver and multiple F3 race winner Michael Trimble in charge of the cars maiden shakedown on Aussie soil.
The team, based on the results and performance of the Oran Park test, then intends to complete the remainder of the championship with the new car in an effort to prepare for an winning attack on the 2009 series.
The car, an ex-Hitech racing Dallara F307 driven in the UK last year by Marko Asmer, will be powered by a Renault Sodemo engine -- the same power source utilised to great effect by the team since the 2005 championship season having scored 10 wins and multiple podiums for the Melbourne-based team.
It will be the only latest-specification chassis in Australia powered by the Renault engine as the team looks to run with what it is familiar with on its return to the front of the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championships' outright class.
The team has contested the opening two rounds of the 2008 championship with F3 rookie Ray Chamberlain and Opes Prime National Class driver Daniel Schulz -- The young Victorian having twice finished on the class podium at the Clipsal 500 in late February.
Team owner Sam Astuti said the decision to run the Renault engine was an easy one to make.
"For Astuti Motorsport the Renault engine is a known proposition and has been a very strong performer for us in the past," Astuti said.
"We have nothing to loose by running a different engine to everyone else. We aren't in contention for the championship and we already have all the parts and infrastructure needed to run the Renault without having to get a new engine so we plan on doing the test day and going from there.
"If it runs well and we can get within a few tenths of the teams that have already done up to 10 days of testing, which I think is realistic, then we will run the engine for the rest of the year.
"If not then it is not difficult to fit either a Mugen Honda or Mercedes Benz engine but at the moment I'm happy with the package we have."
Like the engine decision, Astuti commented that the opportunity to have Trimble, now racing in the Fujitsu V8 Supercar series, test the car was a simple one.
"Michael is a great driver and a good friend of our team," he said.
"The important thing is that he will be right on the money from the moment he gets in the car so we can achieve as much as possible on the test day without having to bring a driver up to speed, as well as work on the new car."
"He will give us the best possible shot to be competitive from the outset."
Astuti Motorsport will next race at Oran Park Raceway between April 25 -- 27, in Round four of the Australian GT Championship and the third round of the 2008 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship.