Marshall the man as Reindler reigns in points lead on Surfers Streets. Karl Reindler regained the Australian Formula 3 points lead today at Surfers Paradise, as team BRM came away from an dramatic day's racing with a race win in the bag as ...
Marshall the man as Reindler reigns in points lead on Surfers Streets.
Karl Reindler regained the Australian Formula 3 points lead today at Surfers Paradise, as team BRM came away from an dramatic day's racing with a race win in the bag as well.
International Aussie Marcus Marshall was the form driver of the day, taking pole position in an exciting wet / dry qualifying session and backing up his strong pace with a dominant race win in the opening 12-lap stoush this afternoon.
For Karl Reindler, today's demanding schedule was all about focussing on closing the points gap to series leader Chris Gilmour. Despite having never driven the demanding 4.47km layout before the first practice session today, Reindler adapted quickly, and posted fourth best time whilst negotiating the tricky conditions in the qualifying session.
Starting the race from the second row, Reindler made a strong start and was in third as the field headed into turn one. The subsequent non finish of rival contender Gilmour meant that the team BRM driver could 'cruise' to the finish to ensure a solid points haul. The 4th place gained at the end of the 12-lap race, and the 10 points gained in the championship means that Reindler now leads Gilmour by just one point with two races to go.
"I had a reasonable start to the race," said the 19-year-old West Australian. "As soon as I heard that Chris was out, I got into cruise mode and made sure that I stayed in my comfort zone for the rest of the race." He said.
Teammate Marcus Marshall was the star of the day, dominating proceedings and proving that the experience gained during his season in British Formula 3 has been extremely valuable by grabbing pole in a startlingly quick lap time compared to his rivals near the end of the sesson. The 26 year old was quick to adapt to the inclement conditions that are all too frequent in the UK.
Despite the excellent performance, Marshall was on a potentially quicker lap shortly after setting his pole winning time, before grabbing a curb in the turn one chicane and smacking his Dallara F301 into the outside Tyre barrier.
Marshall's mechanics worked miracles to get the No Limits Property Group / Barter card car ready for the next race, replacing the entire left front suspension on the car.
"I just used a bit too much of the inside kerb," commented Marshall afterwards. "If there weren't tyres on the outside of the corner I would have been ok, but there was and it grabbed the front wheel and put me into the barrier." He said.
Marshall repaid his mechanics efforts in the race, jumping to an excellent lead after the opening lap. After that, it was a simple matter of extending the lead, as the #4 Dallara raced to its second race win in two rounds.
"I made a really good start and concentrated on getting the lead as big as possible in the early stages of the race," he said. "After that, there was a bit of traffic around, but I was making sure that we kept a consistent gap to get the win."
Yokohama Trophy Class series winner Nic Jordan suffered a difficult day, overcoming all sorts of niggling problems to finish second for the first time in his short F3 career. Jordan, 16, was forced to miss qualifying when water from the downpour just before qualifying found its way into the engine's electrical system, causing his Coopers Dallara F398 to misfire badly.
Starting the race from the rear, Jordan made a strong getaway and was inside the top 10 before the first chicane. As the car accelerated away from the turn 1 congestion, it broke second gear which basically crippled the car on the tight street circuit. Jordan battled on to finish second in the Yokohama Trophy class for the first time this seasion.
"It was disappointing (To loose second gear)," said Jordan after the race. "But if anything, it made me work harder to try and catch the people in front." He said.
Team Owner Bronte Rundle was less than impressed with the situation that caused the misfire in the first place. "Because we were forced to re fuel the cars in a non-sheltered area, water got into the engine when it rained and caused the miss," explained Rundle. "It was an unfortunate situation caused by a circumstance when common sense doesn't prevail."
Rundle, however, praised the efforts of the team in what was a very arduous day of competition. "The guys on Marcus' car (Damian Allen and Kevin Fisher) did an incredible job to get the #4 car repaired after the crash," he said. "Marcus proved today that there is no substitute for experience in these cars, and Karl did exactly what he needed to do -- finish strongly and gather points for the championship."
The Australian Formula 3 championship will now be decided over two races, one tomorrow (Friday) afternoon, with the series decider Sunday morning.