F3

AUSF3: Phillip Island Saturday report

THE CARATTI CHARGE CONTINUES TO ISLAND F3 POLE Series leader scores two more points in Kumho Tyres F3 return to Phillip Island. With a massive 47 point lead heading into the round, one would be easily mistaken in suggesting that West Australian...

THE CARATTI CHARGE CONTINUES TO ISLAND F3 POLE
Series leader scores two more points in Kumho Tyres F3 return to Phillip Island.

With a massive 47 point lead heading into the round, one would be easily mistaken in suggesting that West Australian driver Aaron Caratti would be taking it easy at this weekend's sixth round of the 2005 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 championship for the CAMS Gold Star at Phillip Island.

Unfortunately for his rivals, however, Caratti showed no signs of easing up his charge to the Gold Star crown, taking two pole positions and adding two points to his already significant series' lead in fine conditions at the 4.6km circuit today.

Caratti's best time of the day, a lap of 1m26.7820, was two tenths quicker than current closest rival Michael Trimble and three tenths up on the best qualifying time set when the series last visited the Island circuit in May this year.

"Im obviously really happy with the way today has gone," enthused Caratti after scoring his seventh and eighth pole positions this season. "The car has been fantastic, no dramas at all today, and its good to be able to keep adding to the series lead that we have already managed to get."

"There is no way I'm backing off -- without doing anything stupid on track, I'm definitely going for win's this weekend." He said.

Caratti's closest challenger today came from the man who sits closest to him in the series' points standings, Michael Trimble completing a solid day's work to line up second in the order for both of tomorrow's races. Two-tenths behind the pole sitter in the morning session, Trimble said that he was content with the effort today.

"The front row is where we want to be, I'm happy with today," he said. "If it rains tomorrow we are in the best possible position because the car is brilliant in the wet; It's what we're hoping for. If it rains we're looking really good, otherwise we just have to make sure we score as many points as possible."

After scoring his first two podium finishes of season 2005 at Eastern Creek in Sydney, Chris Gilmour's revitalised form continued today, placing his F301 Dallara on the second row for both races tomorrow, a pair of third place qualifying efforts pleasing the laconic Queenslander.

"We're back where we want to be," he enthused. "The car is good -- we've still got to find a bit more time -- but we're happy to be on the second row. Now I've just got to make an awesome start like I did at Eastern Creek to get in front in the race!"

There were mixed fortunes behind the top three placegetters, F3 rookie Neil McFadyen beaching his Dallara in the Phillip island infield in the opening session, restricting his track time in what was his first look at driving an F3 car in dry conditions. The 2004 Gold Star champ rebounded in the second session however; setting fourth quickest time and setting him up for a good run tomorrow.

Protecnica Racing's Chris Alajajian had another mixed day, fourth and fifth place efforts in the day's two respective sessions not the kind of results the Sydneysider wanted considering his strong position in the championship standings.

Former F3 race winner Daynom Templeman had a solid day, with two sixth place efforts, whilst Tim Macrow had a shocking day, on track incidents in both sessions leaving the former Formula Ford champion scratching his head in the bottom half of the top ten.

16-year-old Kiwi rookie Marc Williams topped the Trophy class charts, improving his May qualifying effort by almost six seconds in what was an impressive display of maturity by the youngest driver in the 14-car field.

Lauren Gray completed a solid day's work, her second session effort particularly impressive, lapping closer to the field than in any of her previous efforts in what is a steep learning curve for the young New South Welshman.

The sixth round of the championship will be contested over two, 14 lap races tomorrow at 10:20am and 13:40pm Australian Eastern Time tomorrow. <pre> Times -- Qualifying 1 1. Aaron Caratti 1m26.7820 2. Michael Trimble +0.2169 3. Chris Gilmour +1.2784 4. Chris Alajajian +1.3001 5. Neil McFadyen +1.5484 6. Daynom Templeman +1.7415 7. Tim Macrow +2.3634 8. Marc Williams +4.0947 9. Matt Sofi +4.2538 10. Rod Anderson +6.3581 11. Bill Maddocks +7.9709 12. Greg Fahey +10.6826 13. Graeme Holmes +11.4041 14. Lauren Gray +19.7044

Times -- Qualifying 2 1. Aaron Caratti 1m27.0462 2. Michael Trimble +0.6179 3. Chris Gilmour +1.1633 4. Neil McFadyen +1.2561 5. Chris Alajajian +1.4762 6. Daynom Templeman +1.7933 7. Tim Macrow +2.54021 8. Marc Williams +3.0056 9. Matt Sofi +3.4154 10. Rod Anderson +5.8891 11. Bill Maddocks +7.4458 12. Graeme Holmes +9.0809 13. Greg Fahey +9.3263 14. Lauren Gray +14.9725

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Series F3
Drivers Neil McFadyen , Chris Alajajian , Marc Williams , Tim Macrow , Aaron Caratti , Chris Gilmour , Graeme Holmes , Lauren Gray , Phillip Island
Teams Williams