A SLIGHTLY BETTER DAY TO END ALAJAJIAN'S LUCKLESS AGP WEEKEND Chris Alajajian's luckless run in the Dodo F3 races at the Fosters Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix improved slightly today, with the Sydneysider able to complete a race, but not quite...
A SLIGHTLY BETTER DAY TO END ALAJAJIAN'S LUCKLESS AGP WEEKEND
Chris Alajajian's luckless run in the Dodo F3 races at the Fosters Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix improved slightly today, with the Sydneysider able to complete a race, but not quite under the ideal circumstances.
After ECU (Engine Control Unit) problems in the Jack Hillermans Smash Renault-Sodemo Dallara F304 which left him on the sidelines for Saturday's third race, the insight F3 team intended to replace the damaged ECU unit with a spare.
A spare was fitted, however the team couldn't source the required software from Sodemo - the French company that produce and maintain the Renault-based engines - in time for it to be used.
In order to allow Alajajian to take part in today's final race of the weekend, insight F3 team owner David Borg gave up his Opel-Spies powered Dallara F301. It was the car that Alajajian raced to a pair of podium finishes in the 2004 Indy 300 support races, however it is also a car that has been battling niggling problems in recent times.
Alajajian drove gallantly, having started the eight-lap race from pitlane. Despite an engine misfire, he finished in 11th place.
"Unfortunately we couldn't get the program we needed to allow me to race my car, but David was good enough to lend me his car, and sit on the sidelines, so that I could race today, so I have to thank him for that," said Alajajian.
"The car wasn't perfect, it& rsquo;s an older car compared to the one I normally race, the setup wasn't quite right and it had a misfire, so today was always just going to be about getting out there and getting a race finish.
"I started from pitlane and spent the first lap getting used to the car, and then started to pick up some places. On the third lap I had a little spin while getting used to the car which cost me some time, but I still picked up a few places and finished the race which was the main thing."
While he was finally able to get on track and complete a race-distance today, Alajajian leaves the weekend bitterly disappointed.
"You know, this weekend has been so frustrating," lamented Alajajian. "We came here with such high hopes, and in the early part of the weekend it was looking good.
"I was leading the first race with two laps to go, but it all went downhill from there.
"We didn't finish that race from the incident with [Michael] Trimble, and then didn't do a lap on Friday and Saturday because of problems stemming from that crash. Finally today, we were able to finish a race, but not in our own car.
"It certainly wasn't the sort of weekend I had in mind, but that's motorsport sometimes."
Alajajian won't have to wait long for the next opportunity to reverse his fortunes. Next weekend, he will be racing at Tasmania's Symmons Plains Raceway in round two of the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship for the CAMS Gold Star.