HOLLINGS UP TO SPEED AT EASTERN CREEK Charlie Hollings proved he has the pace after a thrilling but frustrating weekend at Eastern Creek Raceway for the first round of the 2007 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship. The excitement and...
HOLLINGS UP TO SPEED AT EASTERN CREEK
Charlie Hollings proved he has the pace after a thrilling but frustrating weekend at Eastern Creek Raceway for the first round of the 2007 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship.
The excitement and drama started on Saturday during qualifying, as the ten championship drivers fought for the honour of leading the field in the first race of the season. Stuart Kostera claimed his pole-winning lap of 1m25.550s half-way through the first session but then had a nail-biting wait as the other drivers tried to smash his time. Charlie was one of the closest contenders, coming in fourth but still only 0.187s away from Kostera.
The thrills continued in the afternoon session as Charlie snatched pole from Tim Macrow thirty seconds after the flag had been flown in a sensational challenge to secure his first pole of the championship.
However, frustration followed on race day for the 24 year old British driver. Despite having less than thirty laps of testing Charlie kept up with the leaders, but he slipped down the field to seventh place because of a drive-through penalty for a jump start.
The second race brought disappointment too. A collision with Mat Sofi on the second bend sent Charlie into a spin and down to the back of the field, damaging his suspension in the process. Another drive-through penalty for jump starting the race left Charlie in eighth place.
"I have had very little time with the car as I only arrived in Australia this week but the Astuti team has been brilliant and everyone really supported me over the weekend - I am really pleased how we have gelled," the Yorkshireman said. "The pole position proves that I am fast enough to win and this does put us in a really good position for the rest of the championship. I have never jump-started a race in my entire career, so it is incredibly annoying to get two penalties in one day but at least we finished with some points and we can now just focus on Melbourne."