Wet Weather Woes For Gilmour Following an extremely promising start to the racing weekend, Chris Gilmour and Gilmour Racing ultimately had a disappointing run in round three of the 2006 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship at Philip...
Wet Weather Woes For Gilmour
Following an extremely promising start to the racing weekend, Chris Gilmour and Gilmour Racing ultimately had a disappointing run in round three of the 2006 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship at Philip Island.
Having picked up a fastest time in one of the Friday practice sessions, and qualifying third for both of the races, Gilmour Racing slipped down to fifth position in trying conditions for both races.
Chris Gilmour and Gilmour Racing left Philip Island with another strong points haul, 8 points from each of the two races, and currently have a total of 45 points, putting him in sixth place in the championship standings. The team has also learnt a lot more about their new car, which they had first run at the previous race meeting in Tasmania. Despite the relatively disappointing race results, the team has displayed the speed they are capable of in coming rounds.
As the team were preparing for race one on Sunday morning, the heavens opened up in typical Melbourne fashion, and the team did not have enough time to change the cars settings to a completely full setup. However, with wet-shod tyres, the Styromax Insulation Dallara F304 took its position on third place on the grid. Placed on the wet side of the track, which is off the normal racing line, Gilmour had a good start considering the conditions, and with a cautious to minimize wheel-spin, he slotted into fourth position into the first corner. Gilmour held fourth position for much of the race, which was disrupted twice by the safety car.
On the thirteenth lap Leanne Tander got a better restart when the safety car pulled in to release the field for a last-lap dash. Tander pulled along side Gilmour's Styromax Insulation Dallara, and passed him into turn one. The pair dueled during the final lap, and Gilmour tried to slipstream pass Tander out of the final corner, but came just short, finishing less than a tenth of a second behind Tander, and picking up fifth place in the race.
"Tander got a better run on to the straight and passed me into turn one, and this put me back into fifth position, which is where I unfortunately stayed for the last lap," Gilmour said.
"I actually couldn't see much at all with all the spray from the front cars, but we can't help the weather!"
The sun had come out in time for the second race, and a dry line had appeared on the track, leading Gilmour Racing to opt for slick dry tyres. Starting from third again Gilmour got a fantastic start, leading the field into the first corner, and holding the position for the first lap. At the start of the second lap Ben Clucas slipstreamed by Gilmour, demoting the Queenslander to second position. Later in the lap, Gilmour reached the top of the circuit at Siberia corner, and ran wide after hitting a wet patch, allowing Tim Macrow and Michael Trimble by, dropping him to fourth.
Once again the safety car interrupted the race, and once again Tander took advantage of the race restart, passing Gilmour at the end of the front straight, dropping Gilmour to fifth. The race was shortened from 14 laps to 10 laps, drastically cutting the amount of time Gilmour had to attempt a re-pass on Tander, and despite closely following Tander, Gilmour was unable to retake fourth position, and finished the race in fifth.
"On the restart Tander passed me at the end of the straight, for us to finish a disappointed fifth," Gilmour said.
"After the restart it started to rain again which also made conditions tricky on slicks," he said.
On Saturday during qualifying, the team had been confident of a strong showing. In the first qualifying session, Chris Gilmour had captured his first third position of the day.
"On lap nine I was on my quickest lap, and then locked a front wheel going into the MG Hairpin," he said.
"I was pushing to hard to catch Trimble and just pinched the front right, costing me about two tenths of a second.
"This put me in third position, four tenths off pole, and only two tenths off second place."
The result was the same in the second qualifying session, with a mistake again costing Gilmour a better qualifying position.
"We didn't change anything on the car for second qualifying because I knew I had the pace and could push a little harder," Gilmour said.
"But again on lap 11 I made a small mistake again into MG Hairpin, and went wide on the exit of the turn costing me time.
"The telemetry later revealed that the mistake I made cost me over four tenths of a second on my flying lap, so it would of been our first pole for the season.
"But overall we were very happy with the general speed of the car and were very confident of a good showing come race day."
During Friday practice the team had made a number of improvements to the car's setup, and the proof was in the session times.
Gilmour Racing led the first practice session, and posted the second fastest time in the second session.
"After being so quick Friday and Saturday we were disappointed with our performance," Gilmour said.
"However, we can't wait for round four at Mallala!
"In the last four races there we have finished on the podium three times, so we're looking forward to it as we have proved that we now have the car setup, and we will be one to watch at Mallala."
Gilmour Racing would like to thank the following sponsors for their support in 2006:
Stryomax Insulated Fibreglass Truck Bodies, Campak Constructions, Chris Nessell Spray Painting, Cooltemp Transport Refrigeration, Identity Plus, PM Lubricants, Revolution Racegear, Campac, Gary Sturdy Motorsport, Racing Press Media and CP Ships.
The fourth round of the 2006 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship will be held at Mallala Raceway, June 23 - 25.