F3

AUSF3: Protecnica Racing Eastern Creek Sunday report

ALAJAJIAN'S HOMETOWN PODIUM DOUBLE A pair of podium finishes has kept Chris Alajajian in the F3 frame at Sydney's Eastern Creek Raceway, in the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship for the CAMS Gold Star. With an enthusiastic...

ALAJAJIAN'S HOMETOWN PODIUM DOUBLE

A pair of podium finishes has kept Chris Alajajian in the F3 frame at Sydney's Eastern Creek Raceway, in the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship for the CAMS Gold Star.

With an enthusiastic supporter group on hand at his home track to track his progress, the 18 year old Sydneysider put in a pair of mature drives, and kept his championship points tally ticking over, as the series starts it's run towards the end of the season.

In the opening race of the weekend, Alajajian made a clean start from the front row of the grid and settled into second place. He maintained a steady pace, remaining around three seconds in arrears of race and championship leader Aaron Caratti.

While he couldn't bridge the gap, he ended the race in second place, with a fastest lap of the race just two tenths of a second shy of Caratti's benchmark, which was a new Formula 3 lap record around the 3.93km circuit.

"It wasn't what we expected," said Alajajian. "We made some more changes to the car after qualifying and we probably went backwards a little bit with the handling from where we were in qualifying. But, it's all about picking up the points while we are learning about the car, so I stuck around and brought it home in second place."

'The Chris' lined up third on the grid for the weekend's second race, the 100th for Australian Formula 3. On the second lap of the race, he made a move past Chris Gilmour, who made a blinding start and led for the opening lap of the race.

Once in second place, he built a cushion over Gilmour and settled in to claim another second place finish, his seventh podium finish of the 2005 championship, in the 13 lap encounter.

All in all, Alajajian was pleased with the team's form and the results recorded during the weekend and is upbeat about what lies ahead.

"The Protecnica team has done another excellent job this weekend," said Alajajian. "The setup wasn't quite there in either race, but that is something that we will come to grips with as time goes on.

"The ground that we have made up since the boys took over the car is great and it is looking positive for the rest of the year. We will have a test before Phillip Island, for the first time, and we'll hopefully keep improving and scoring more results as the year goes on."

While Aaron Caratti extended his championship lead courtesy of his wins and now has 175 points, Alajajian's consistent run sees him progress to 118 points, close to within ten points of Michael Trimble in second place with three rounds remaining.

It was confirmed this weekend that the winner of this year's championship will not only receive the prestigious CAMS Gold Star award, but also a test with the Australian A1 Grand Prix Team.

The next round of the 2005 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship for the CAMS Gold Star sees the championship head to Phillip Island Raceway in Victoria on August 19-21.

Protecnica Racing thanks the ongoing support of Jack Hillermans Smash, Elf Oil, Scuderia Veloce Motors, Nudie, Workflow Systems, Bilstein, Moody Kiddell & Partners, Heasman Steering, Disc Brakes Australia, Hawk Performance, Monza Mens Boutique, H & R Springs and APT Signs.

Eastern Creek Race 1 Top 6;
1 Aaron Caratti
2 Chris Alajajian
3 Chris Gilmour
4 Michael Trimble
5 Matt Sofi
6 David Borg

Eastern Creek Race 2 Top 6;
1 Aaron Caratti
2 Chris Alajajian
3 Chris Gilmour
4 Michael Trimble
5 Matt Sofi
6 Stephen Borness

-pr-

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About this article
Series F3
Drivers Stephen Borness , Chris Alajajian , Aaron Caratti , Chris Gilmour , Phillip Island