F3

AUSF3: Surfers Paradise: Series race two report

MARTIN BAGS A NIKON INDY 300 F3 CHALLENGE DOUBLE John Martin has followed up his win yesterday with a second one today at the Nikon Indy 300 F3 Challenge at Surfers Paradise this afternoon. It could not have been any easier for the Piccola ...

MARTIN BAGS A NIKON INDY 300 F3 CHALLENGE DOUBLE

John Martin has followed up his win yesterday with a second one today at the Nikon Indy 300 F3 Challenge at Surfers Paradise this afternoon.

It could not have been any easier for the Piccola Scuderia driver, who took a lights to flag victory on the tight street circuit in his Dallara F307 Mercedes Benz.

"I nailed the start - yesterday I didn't want to stall so I didn't get a good getaway but today was much better and I was able to establish a good buffer in the opening lap," John Martin said.

"From there it was a matter of setting a good pace in front and hold a good margin."

The 24-year-old was able to blitz the field at the start, reversing the situation that occurred yesterday when James Winslow passed him before the first corner.

Instead Martin led all of the way, followed by Winslow's Team BRM Dallara F307 that - though significantly closer - had no answer for the young Australian.

While a battle for first did not eventuate, the huge crowd was treated to a final lap tussle for second and third.

Chris Alajajian of Astuti Motorsport and Leanne Tander of TanderSport swapped places on the final lap when Alajajian attempted a pass on Winslow but ran wide, giving Tander the inside run and third position.

After battling all of today and yesterday as well, it was fitting for the spoils of third to be shared between Tander and Alajajian, and we will have to see what transpires tomorrow with one race left.

"We are moving forward, even if it is a bit late in the weekend with just a race to go - but the car was a lot better that time around," Leanne Tander enthused.

"I'm getting more comfortable in the car and it's certainly faster so tomorrow should be a good finish to the weekend and the season."

Nathan Caratti again snuck in to finish in fifth for Team BRM, teammate Zahir Ali was sixth, and Mat Sofi finished in seventh for Astuti Motorsport after starting the race in 15th because of a crash in yesterday's race.

Despite yesterday's antics, Sofi came very close to finding himself in a world of trouble when he launched off the curbs at the XXXX Gold Chicanes and got an incredible amount of air under the car.

"I had some oversteer at the chicane and the car got sideways," Mat Sofi explained.

"I felt that if I corrected it I may have ended up in the wall so in the end I aimed straight for the kerb and the car went skywards.

"It was a huge jump. My back is a bit sore from the landing but I was able to finish, so as long as the footage looked spectacular I guess it's all good!"

Carlos Huertas had a terrific race yesterday on debut to be the best National Class runner of the day, but today he suffered mechanical problems and was stuck on the grid when the lights went out.

The field were lucky not to suffer a safety car intervention as officials decided to continue racing while marshals cleared Huertas by pushing him down the length of the straight.

Instead, Chris Gilmour picked up the honour of first National Class competitor with his eighth position, and Jesse Wakeman was the best Trophy Class finisher with a tenth place finish.

Once again John Martin set the lap record, which only stood for a day, this time by almost an entire second to record a 1m47.9630 lap around the 4.47-kilometre track.

"I pushed on a little but in the end if you don't give anything away you won't get passed so I didn't want to throw the race away from the lead," Martin said.

"I pressed on during the final lap and was able to re-set the lap record which was a great way to end it," he said.

However, while Martin remains the man to beat, Tander, Alajajian and Caratti each went under the time of Martin's previous lap record that he set yesterday.

Alajajian has switched to a dual-shock front suspension - like the setup Martin has - which is much more suited to the Surfers Paradise curbs, showing that the others are still well in the hunt.

With the IndyCars laying down plenty of more rubber onto the track and the other drivers finding extra speed tomorrow's final race of the Nikon Indy 300 F3 Challenge will not be one to miss.

Race three begins at 9:15am tomorrow.

-credit: formula3.com.au

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About this article
Series F3
Drivers Chris Alajajian , James Winslow , John Martin , Zahir Ali , Carlos Huertas , Leanne Tander , Nathan Caratti , Chris Gilmour , Jesse Wakeman