F3

AUSF3: Surfers Paradise: TanderSport weekend summary

Leanne Tander's F3 career ended with a podium followed by an unfortunate DNF in race three at the F3 Challenge on the Gold Coast. TANDERSPORT endured a frustrating end to their 2008 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 season at the Nikon Indy 300...

Leanne Tander's F3 career ended with a podium followed by an unfortunate DNF in race three at the F3 Challenge on the Gold Coast.

TANDERSPORT endured a frustrating end to their 2008 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 season at the Nikon Indy 300 F3 Challenge last weekend.

However the never-say-die attitude of the team and its drivers was clear for all to see and has helped position the team well for its future growth and competition within Australia's premier and fastest open wheel series.

In her final Formula 3 event, Leanne Tander gained speed throughout the weekend and - after qualifying fifth - finished fourth in race one and third in race two. In the second race Tander was involved in a three-car battle for second and was able to pass Chris Alajajian for position on the final lap to take her first Gold Coast Indy podium finish.

Sadly Leanne's final F3 race ended badly, the #42 car running third with just one lap to go when a gearbox problem slowed the car exiting the first chicane causing a hapless Nathan Caratti to hit the rear of the car and send it into the wall.

Leanne ended the weekend equal third in the non-championship round standings, with 22 points.

Kiwi Ben Crighton was a constant improver during the course of the weekend but his 2008 run of bad luck seemed to continue at Surfers Paradise.

Celebrating a birthday just days before the event, Crighton qualified the #52 TanderSport car 10th and was able to gain one position in the first race to jump to ninth. In the competitive F3 field, Crighton again finished ninth in race two but raced competitively with a large group of cars, improving his best lap by over two seconds from the previous race.

The promising run came to an end in race three, however, when a broken driveshaft ended his run after just four laps.

TanderSport will now continue their preparation for the 2009 Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship. The team will confirm plans for the 2009 season in due course.

More information about TanderSport can be found at www.tandersport.com or www.leannetander.com

Leanne Tander - #42 TanderSport Dallara F307 Mercedes - Benz

"The way the weekend finished was disappointing, but up until then we'd been making progress every time we went out on track. Our pace was matching the leaders at times. (In race three)I think the car got stuck between gears. It just didn't have any drive, and unfortunately Nathan wouldn't have known that I was not going to get out of the corner like normal, so it was a really sad way to end the weekend for both of us.

"So he gave me a tap and I went into the wall - Not the way you want to end your last Formula 3 race.

"In the end it's not too disappointing. We know that we had a lot of speed throughout the year and worked together to never give up. This is a fantastic team and big things are going to come in the future."

Ben Crighton - #52 TanderSport Dallara F304 Spiess Opel

"It was great to come to this track; it's awesome to be out there. We made a lot of progress over the weekend which was really satisfying and the final race was going really well, until we broke a driveshaft. Leanne and I spoke a lot during the weekend to help each other out. The team had never been here before, and a few of the other teams have, so we had to work together to get as much out of it as we could.

"The season was a really good learning experience and I learned a lot - we'll be back next year!"

-credit: ts

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About this article
Series F3
Drivers Chris Alajajian , Leanne Tander , Nathan Caratti , Ben Crighton