SCUD RACING NOW CONTENDERS AFTER PODIUM RUN AT THE ISLAND SCUD Racing can now firmly claim to be contenders in every race that remains in the 2008 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship following a stunning performance at the front of the...
SCUD RACING NOW CONTENDERS AFTER PODIUM RUN AT THE ISLAND
SCUD Racing can now firmly claim to be contenders in every race that remains in the 2008 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship following a stunning performance at the front of the field at Phillip Island last weekend.
Championship class driver Stuart Kostera scored his first podium finish of the 2008 season with a stunning drive in the first of two races before being potentially denied a second podium in race two after an incident on a race restart.
Kostera was in peak form at the weekend and -- with the addition of the final few components needed to obtain data from the Scud Racing F307 -- qualified superbly in fifth and third positions, respectively.
In race one he ran with the leaders for the entire race and took advantage of a coming together between two other competitors early in the race to leap into third place -- eventually closing on the leaders on the last lap to finish just 0.8s from the top spot.
In race two he was again running well and took the lead on lap four -- before being unfortunately penalised for overlapping on the race restart after a car in front apparently hesitated before accelerating at the green flag.
Kostera was served with a drive-though penalty after the unavoidable incident and recovered to 10th overall, and 8th in class.
"We've turned a corner, the car is good and I think we can challenge for wins now," Kostera said afterwards.
"It's just very disappointing with what happened in race two because it probably cost us a shot at a win. The car is now the best it's ever been thanks to the hard work from the team and the results and speed from the weekend showed that.
"We should be able to go out and challenge for the same kind of results for the remainder of the season."
Meanwhile Tim Macrow proved that he had lost none of his championship winning form of 2007 as he qualified Scud Racings' F301 National Class entry on the second row of the grid for both races.
Whilst Macrow unfortunately failed to finish both races after enduring battery problems, he showed the capability of the teams' National Class entry and his substantial capabilities by qualifying less than half a second behind the outright pole winners F307 Dallara and also more than a second ahead of the next best National Class competitor.
Macrow's car failed to take the start of race one after the car failed to fire on the formation lap, Macrow forced to cut a swathe though the field in recovery -- running as high as eighth before a piece of bodywork came loose at Lukey heights and forced him off the track.
"Really frustrating," Macrow surmised.
"It's bad that we didn't get the results because we had the old girl running really well. I could probably have got a few more 10ths out of it in qualifying if the conditions were perfect but the car certainly was quick. It was fantastic to get behind the wheel again and show what the car is capable of -- it's just a shame we couldn't get the kind of results that qualifying showed that we could get."
Team owner Bill Maddocks said that the Phillip Island results forced the team to change their expectations for the remainder of the season.
"I got told after qualifying to stop saying 'we're getting there' and start saying that 'we're there'," he said.
"There's still work to do but this weekend has shown what we're capable of and that we can prepare two cars that can run at the front. Stuart was brilliant all weekend and I'm convinced that he'll be a contender for wins in the final few rounds. He was very fired up after the first race which was great to see.
"It's a shame that Tim had the battery problems that stopped him getting some results, but he showed how fast he was and how quick the car can be too. Everyone has done an excellent job and we're all looking forward to the next round to see if we can't go a few steps higher on the podium!"
Scud Racing will next be in action during round six of the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship at Eastern Creek Raceway, between July 11 - 13.