F3

AUSF3: Oran Park qualifying report

TANDER GETS FIRST EVER FORMULA 3 POLE POSITION AT ORAN PARK Leanne Tander has sliced out her own little piece of Australian Open Wheel history at Oran Park today by scoring her first ever Pole position in the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 ...

TANDER GETS FIRST EVER FORMULA 3 POLE POSITION AT ORAN PARK

Leanne Tander has sliced out her own little piece of Australian Open Wheel history at Oran Park today by scoring her first ever Pole position in the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship, In qualifying for this weekend's eighth and final round of the 2006 season.

Tander topped this morning's first session to record the pole position result, knocking Tim Macrow off the top spot by a scant .02s with just a few minutes remaining in the session.

Macrow bounced back with the best possible response in the second session, however, taking a commanding pole by a much more comfortable three tenths -- his third pole for the season and his third in four races.

With her race one pole, Tander becomes the first ever female driver to score a pole position in the 50-year history of the Australian Drivers Championship as well as the 8-year history of Formula 3 racing in Australia.

And whilst her second session performance wasn't up to her usual standard -- she'll start fourth for race two tomorrow -- the Fleetcare Tandersport driver was still pleased with performance today.

"I'm very happy with it," she said.

"The track is much slower than when we tested here but we got the car right. I ended up timing it right and getting that one lap in at the end of the session to get ahead of Tim.

"We just couldn't get a time out of it in the second session though. It's disappointing because two poles would have been much better than just one, but I'll take it!"

Macrow was another pleased with his day's efforts, once again rewarding his team for their hard work after being forced to change cars mid-season.

"The car is unbelievably good," said Macrow.

"I've found that you have to drive it a bit like a Formula Ford around here, it seems to be the fast way around. It's a bit hairy at times but it's a load of fun.

"The car is great and I have to thank Gary and my crew for another great effort."

Continually improving, Queenslander Chris Gilmour was second fastest in this afternoon's session, once again closing the gap and securing himself an all-important front row start for race two.

Chris Alajajian, Stuart Kostera, Matt Sofi and Daniel Pappas all moved closer to the outright pace today, each driver feeling confident about their chances tomorrow.

"The car was much better in second qualifying," Said Alajajian, who was third fastest in Q2 after setting fourth fastest time this morning -- an improvement of over six-tenths.

"I'm coming to grips with the car with the more laps," Agreed Pappas, who only returned to the seat of a Formula 3 Open Wheeler for the first time in over 18 months yesterday.

"The car is very good and I'm relearning how to drive it. I'm certainly much quicker and happier with the second session than the first and I know we've got a good racecar."

After a season of racing Porsche's, Pappas qualified seventh and sixth respectively today.

A standout performance came from Wagga Wagga-based Tim Berryman, who not only topped the Kumho Tyres National Class today but mixed it with some of the leading Championship class runners in the second session.

After scoring 8th in Qualifying one, Berryman improved by almost a second in qualifying two to place seventh -- less than 1.5s from pole.

Chris Barry -- who survived a spin into the turn one sand this afternoon -- and John Boothman completed the National Class top three in each session today.

Graeme Holmes took a pair of Trophy Class pole positions home today and closed the margin by two points to Lauren Gray -- who was fourth in class -- in the battle for the class title.

Tomorrow's eighth and final round of the 2006 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship for the CAMS Gold Star will be contested over two, 15-lap races at Oran Park.

-credit: www.formula3.com.au

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About this article
Series F3
Drivers Chris Alajajian , John Booth , Tim Macrow , Leanne Tander , Stuart Kostera , Chris Gilmour , Graeme Holmes , Lauren Gray