TRACK KNOWLEDGE GOOD FOR GILMOUR AS QUEENSLANDER TOPS NATIONAL CLASS PRACTICE Chris Gilmour was fastest in the Opes Prime National Class today. The only driver in the Opes Prime National Class to have experience on the demanding streets of ...
TRACK KNOWLEDGE GOOD FOR GILMOUR AS QUEENSLANDER TOPS NATIONAL CLASS PRACTICE
Chris Gilmour was fastest in the Opes Prime National Class today.
The only driver in the Opes Prime National Class to have experience on the demanding streets of Adelaide has put his track knowledge to good use by topping today's practice for round two of the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship.
The Opes Prime National Class -- for the 2004-spec cars -- features some of the closest competition in the Formula 3 field and $40,000 in prizemoney, or a funded Championship Class drive in 2009, for the winner this season.
Gilmour's 1m21.7655s lap topped his class in the second session and on combined times -- and left him an encouraging eighth outright on the overall timesheet.
Gilmour raced at the Clipsal 500 the last time Formula 3 was on the program, finishing on the podium on two occasions and scoring a pole position in the 2004 championship season opener. He is the only driver in either championship or National class this weekend to have prior experience on the 3.2km circuit.
The Queenslander topped Irishman -- and class points leader -- Lee Farrell on combined times today to set up a close battle for class honours over the two races this weekend.
"I'm really pleased -- looks like my laps here are paying off," Gilmour enthused.
"We struggled with fuel pressure problems in the second session so it's nice to be that far up. I think this is right up there as my favourite tracks so I really enjoy coming here. I think we can be up for some good performances in qualifying to get as many championship points as possible."
Farrell's second position backed up his round one win, whilst an impressive Samantha Reid (TanderSport) was third overall today.
In her first drive for TanderSport and first in a National-Class specification car, Reid's performance bodes well for the TanderSport team after Trophy-class winning performances in her brief foray into the 2007 championship late last year.
The 20-year old South Australian was third in practice one and fourth in practice two despite having an engine cover come loose to curtail her session early.
Astuti Motorsport's Daniel Schulz was fourth overall whilst Scud's Mathew Radisich was fifth.
The young kiwi -- nephew of Touring Car champion Paul -- only contested the first session, however, after a blown engine left his team racing to change engines between both practice sessions.
Round 1 polesitter Chris Reindler -- now with new team R-Tek F3 -- found the tyre barrier in opening practice but recovered well to finish the day sixth in class driving his brand new Dallara.
Less than a second covered the top five today, qualifying tomorrow set to be a close affair to decide the race-within a race battle.
In the Formula 3 Trophy Class Andrew Mill was the dominant force as his rivals found problems.
A litany of dramas set local hope Jesse Wakeman back in both sessions -- leaving him without a single lap heading into qualifying -- whilst 16-year-old Justin Tate was another to struggle to get track time today.