LEANNE TANDER, TIM MACROW AND CHARLIE HOLLINGS TO FIGHT OUT AUSTRALIAN DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP AT ORAN PARK Should a book detailing the history of the Australian Drivers Championship be written in the next few years, the author will need to be sure...
LEANNE TANDER, TIM MACROW AND CHARLIE HOLLINGS TO FIGHT OUT AUSTRALIAN DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP AT ORAN PARK
Should a book detailing the history of the Australian Drivers Championship be written in the next few years, the author will need to be sure that plenty of pages are left to record the incredible tug of war that has been the 51st Gold Star season - 2007.
The battle to decide the winner of the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship will be decided at Oran Park raceway this weekend after the most competitive F3 season in Australia on record, and the most competitive fight for the ADC in many years.
Three drivers -- Leanne Tander, Tim Macrow and Charlie Hollings -- will be the contenders in a title fight that has been wide open since the first race of the season eight months ago.
Over the course of 14 races, seven different drivers have experienced that winning feeling whilst ten have stood on the podium
Six drivers have scored pole positions, eight have set the fastest race lap and four drivers have remained in contention for the title all season long.
Although based & licensed in Australia, drivers originating from four different countries have stood on the podium whilst, in an Australian first, both male and female drivers will race for the chance to call themselves a champion of Formula 3 and a Gold Star winner.
That lone female -- Fleetcare TanderSport driver Leanne Tander -- currently leads the championship and can create history in her state of birth by becoming the first woman to ever win a major National circuit racing championship in Australia.
Victorian Tim Macrow (Cooltemp / Scud Racing) and Yorkshire's Charlie Hollings (Astuti Motorsport) trail Leanne by just four and seven points, respectively, meaning any can win the championship by winning both races at the 2.8km-long undulating circuit fifty minutes from Sydney's CBD.
Macrow will be keen to improve on his second place in last years championship whilst Hollings will be keen to follow in the footsteps of countryman Ben Clucas who won the championship last year.
Any of the three drivers who wins' both races in Sydney will basically be assured the championship; however the odds are stacked against such a feat.
Only one driver -- Charlie Hollings -- has managed to 'do the double' this season, when he -- ominously for his rivals - won both races at Oran Park in early May this year.
Macrow and Hollings have each won three races this year, whilst Tander has won two.
Hollings has the edge when it comes to qualifying, having scored four pole positions to the two racked up by Tander and the sole top spot scored by Macrow.
This years' championship has been a battle that has ebbed-and flowed across Australia, with the lead changing regularly between rounds, and even between races at each event.
As it is just seven points split the three with any driver able to win the championship should they win at Oran Park -- setting up a true 'winner take all' finale.
Three drivers, however, may look to spoil the contenders' party by playing the wildcard role at the weekend.
Barton Mawer, Walter Grubmuller and Chris Gilmour could all spring surprises and relegate the battle for the championship further down the field.
Team BRM / Opes Prime driver Barton Mawer won the Formula 3 SuperPrix in Tasmania recently in just his second race back this season and is always a competitive force, whilst Austrian Grubmuller returns to the Astuti Motorsport #10 car that he raced to the podium in the opening round of the series at Eastern Creek.
Grubmuller is also fresh from a full year in the British F3 championship and will be looking to translate that experience into race winning success this weekend.
The Oran Park round will also be notable as the final hit out for the F304 model Dallara chassis in championship class / outright configuration, as new to Australia 2007-spec cars will contest the Gold Star from 2008 onwards.
The next Gold Star winner will be decided over the course of two races, this Sunday, November 4, as part of the Shannons Nationals event featuring the Biodiesel Supertrucks at Oran Park Raceway.