SCUD RACING DOWN ON POWER BUT NOT ON FORM AFTER HARD GRIND FROM KOSTERA PAYS OFF A DOWN-ON-POWER Scud Racing has fought back hard thanks to a stunning driving and overall team performance in round seven of the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 ...
SCUD RACING DOWN ON POWER BUT NOT ON FORM AFTER HARD GRIND FROM KOSTERA PAYS OFF
A DOWN-ON-POWER Scud Racing has fought back hard thanks to a stunning driving and overall team performance in round seven of the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship held at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit at the weekend.
With the engine in driver Stuart Kostera's #35 Scud Racing Dallara F307 chassis due for a rebuild and down on horsepower, the team was at a disadvantage all weekend but used the wet weather and some driving excellence from Kostera to again challenge for an outright podium at the Victorian circuit.
Meanwhile, in his first F3 race new Scud driver Roman Krumins twice finished second in the F3 Trophy class, on debut.
After struggling in the dry conditions witnessed in qualifying, Kostera's power disadvantage turned into a wheel spin-limiting advantage when the rain came on Sunday with the West Australian quickly coming though the field to race near the front.
He was running fifth in race one before an unfortunate off - at the same time as contender Nathan Caratti but in an unrelated incident - left the car stranded at the side of the track but fortunately damage free.
Kostera made amends with a stunning drive in race two. He charged from ninth to fifth in the first few corners and then moved to fourth just after completing the third lap.
At the half-race distance he dropped one position to fifth before engaging in a mighty drive for the minor podium positions with several other cars that would eventually go all the way to the flag. After holding third until the penultimate lap, the Scud Racer was pipped at the line by just .07s but was able to record a strong fourth place.
As a result Kostera now sits sixth in the championship and has scored more points in the last three rounds than in the first four events to start the year - and will challenge for outright honours in the final round of the championship with a brand-new Mercedes Benz engine.
"It was a tough weekend and we really struggled with the engine all weekend," Kostera said.
"I was glad it was wet because it's the great equaliser and gave us a chance at a decent result. I came off in race one at Siberia but the second race was a lot better. Everything is coming along slowly but with a new engine at Tasmania things should be a lot better."
In the Trophy Class, Krumins had a consistent weekend and improved his performances throughout each session in what was just his first competitive outing in a wings and slicks racer.
The F3 rookie kept his nose clean in the challenging wet conditions on Sunday and brought the car home without a scratch on both occasions and scored 30 Trophy Class points for his efforts.
"Roman had a strong debut in what was a one-off F3 drive and did a good job. It was good to have him as part of the team to experience how good a Formula 3 car really is," Scud Racing team owner Bill Maddocks said.
"Stuart was fantastic and though we were lacking a lot in a straight line, especially, he did a great job and drive brilliantly. We will have a new engine on the way for the next round of the championship and we will be able to continue this building process for a challenge at the championship in 2009, which is the long term plan for Scud Racing."