MORE PROOF OF PACE IN A WEEKEND OF HIGHS AND LOWS FOR TEAM BRM AT ORAN PARK When team BRM hits its home track Mallala raceway in three weeks, it is confident that a solid effort at Oran Park -- with several highlights along the way -- at the ...
MORE PROOF OF PACE IN A WEEKEND OF HIGHS AND LOWS FOR TEAM BRM AT ORAN PARK
When team BRM hits its home track Mallala raceway in three weeks, it is confident that a solid effort at Oran Park -- with several highlights along the way -- at the weekend will put the team in a good position to challenge for the championship lead and further success.
Team BRMs trio showed strong speed and continued front-running performances in both classes - despite some mixed luck and small setbacks -- but a rebound is assured when the team heads to its home round.
Team BRM driver Nathan Caratti enjoyed a competitive run at Oran Park, finishing third and second in the two races contested.
After twice qualifying on the front row, Caratti had the quickest car of the meeting and only some tough luck cost him a potential two race wins; A slow getaway in race one -- when the polesitter had stalled -- and a minor mistake in race two, where he dropped two wheels of the track to surrender the lead, cost him the top spot.
However, helped by a bonus point for fastest lap in race two, Caratti scored 28 points to consolidate third position in the championship standings.
Team BRM was also reunited with former driver Nick Percat, who posted an impressive performance in his debut behind the wheel of a Formula 3 car.
After only one day of testing -- late last year -- Percat, currently 3rd in Formula Ford competition, was on the pace from the outset and qualified fifth for race one before improving further to lock away third on the grid for race two.
Wary of the challenge of getting a Formula 3 car off the line, Percat made a solid start in race one to finish sixth.
In race two he made a better getaway and stayed in touch with the three drivers dicing for the lead of the race to finish a stunning fourth. Percat scored sixteen championship points in his Formula 3 debut and opened the eyes of many in the paddock to his abilities behind the wheel of a substantially quicker car than his current Formula Ford drive.
In the Formula 3 National Class Lee Farrell held the championship lead as he drove to the track Sunday morning -- and left the track that evening wondering which black cat he ran over on the way there.
After wins in the first two rounds of the championship, Farrell failed to finish both races at Oran Park and -- with his nearest rival winning twice -- surrendered the championship lead in the process.
In race one Farrell got squeezed off the circuit on the opening lap -- the soft Oran Park outfield bogging the #6 Dallara F304 and leaving it stranded for four laps.
Once recovered, Farrell was only able to complete 10 of the 14 lap duration and therefore was not classified as a finisher.
In race two things went from bad to worse as a broken axle dropped him out of the race -- from third in class -- on lap three.
Team BRM Manager Mark Rundle said that despite the difficult weekend there were many positives to draw on.
"It was a tough weekend with some highs and lows, but one again cars from Team BRM have been amongst the fastest in the field," He said.
"Nathan had a solid weekend and had the fastest car out there, as shown by the fastest lap in race two. He is a contender this season and is getting stronger and stronger. Nick had an excellent debut in the Formula 3 car as we all knew he would. He's an excellent talent and showed what he is capable of -- with more time in the car there is no doubt that he would be up there contending for wins.
"Lee had a tough weekend with plenty of setbacks. The speed was there, though, which is a positive -- as is the fact that the next round is at a track where he has plenty of miles."
Nathan Caratti - #5 Parklands on Beltram Dallara F307 -- Mercedes Benz
"I'm pretty disappointed because this is a weekend that we should have come away with two wins. We had the speed but two mistakes let it down so it's a bit frustrating, to be honest.
"I was too slow away in the first race and dropped a couple of positions. It's so hard to pass here that there wasn't much of a chance to try and get forward again, especially with all the safety cars.
"Race two was a mistake. I was pulling away on the opening lap but I dropped wheels off coming onto the bridge. By the time I got back on Winslow had passed and I was second. I caught him and had a faster car but he didn't make any mistakes and I couldn't get passed.
"Its good we got some really good championship points but a bit frustrating because it could have been a lot better."
Nick Percat - #4 Walkinshaw Performance / No Fear / High Roller energy drink Dallara F307 -- Mercedes Benz
"It was a challenging weekend, after having an off on Friday.
The first race was pretty difficult and I made a pretty average start. In race two I was running on my own and after we made some changes to the car I was able to drive it hard and it was a very enjoyable race.
"These cars do everything right. They turn in, they put the power down right and they are quick. I really enjoyed the experience."
Lee Farrell - #6 No Fear / Motorsport Ireland Dallara F304 -- Spiess Opel (National Class)
"It was just a disastrous weekend. It's so frustrating. Race one was disappointing but I just got squeezed wide when everyone was going into turn three after the start. We were unlucky that the race didn't go the full distance.
"We wanted some points in race two but then it broke and that was it. I'm pretty happy to leave here, to be honest, and hopefully Mallala -- where I have done four test days before -- will be a lot better and we can regain some ground."