F3

AUSF3: Queensland qualifying report

TIM MACROW AND CHRIS GILMOUR LOCK OUT QUEENSLAND FRONT ROW Tim Macrow has scored an emphatic pole double in qualifying for this weekend's penultimate round of the 2006 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship at Queensland Raceway. After...

TIM MACROW AND CHRIS GILMOUR LOCK OUT QUEENSLAND FRONT ROW

Tim Macrow has scored an emphatic pole double in qualifying for this weekend's penultimate round of the 2006 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship at Queensland Raceway.

After stepping into the Queensland-based Cooltemp Racing Dallara F304 for this weekend, Scud Racing driver Macrow stole the pole from local driver Chris Gilmour in the first session, his lap of 1m07.0426 coming after the checkered flag to best Gilmour by a scant .0028s.

The margin was slightly bigger in the second qualifying session, for race two, Macrow taking another pole by 0.12s -- again ahead of an in-form Gilmour - to place his car on the top spot for the start of both races tomorrow.

"The car is brilliant," Macrow stated following qualifying.

"I have to say thanks to Cooltemp and Bevan Carrick (Car owner) for the opportunity because it's been great to get in this car this weekend.

"It's very consistent and a very good race car, I could consistently put out 1m06.8 -- 1m06.9 second laps for most of the session. It also comes up to speed very quickly because we were into the 6s a lap after pitting to change tyre pressures.

"It's a close field but I'm looking forward to the races," he said.

Gilmour's double-front row result in his SnatchIT.com.au Dallara F304 is his best in the championship for over a year, the local driver looking to use his renowned ability to make blinding starts tomorrow to put himself back on top of the victory dais -- a place he hasn't seen since the end of the 2004 racing season.

"I know this place and know that I'm on the best side of the circuit to be on," Gilmour said.

"Our car is super consistent, so I need to get a good start and bang in two really good laps on cold Tyres, if I can do that and build a margin early it will make it hard for them to beat me."

Michael Trimble scored a pair of thirds today, The King Springs / Astuti Motorsport driver narrowly missing a front row slot -- by less than a 10th of a second - after holding the top spot in qualifying one for a good portion of the session.

Trimble backed up the result with another third in qualifying two, the Victorian driver needing now to score, at least, a win and a second-place tomorrow should he hope to take the championship battle with an absent Ben Clucas to the final round at Oran Park in October.

An impressive performance came from PHR Scuderia driver Stuart Kostera today, scoring fifth and fourth positions today -- both times less than three tenths from pole position.

The improved performances has seen the West Australian driver finish higher today than ever before in Qualifying -- boding well for a strong race performance tomorrow.

New Zealand rookie Andy Knight was another to come agonizingly close to the top spot today, the second of the Astuti Motorsport drivers another of the drivers only a few tenths from pole position yet struggling for a high grid position.

Matt Sofi continued his improvement today, closing to within a second of the leading drivers as he continues his steep learning curve towards the top of the Kumho Tyres championship table.

The Kumho National Class lost its last remaining entrant today, New South Wales based driver Chris Barry forced to withdraw following the opening session after a suspected broken piston slowed his car dramatically.

Class leader Ricky Occhipinti withdrew from the meeting yesterday after a similar problem occurred in his Dallara.

Scud racing teammates Bill Maddocks and Lauren Gray took a pole position each in the Trophy Class, Gray looking to consolidate her lead in the championship with just a round to go.

-credit: www.formula3.com.au

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About this article
Series F3
Drivers Ben Clucas , Bevan Carrick , Tim Macrow , Stuart Kostera , Chris Gilmour , Lauren Gray