F3

AUSF3: Team BRM Mallaha race report

TEAM BRM WINS AT HOME, CLUCAS GETS A ROUND ADVANTAGE AFTER MALLALA Team BRM driver Ben Clucas has continued his unparalleled start to the 2006 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship by dominating the most recent round held at Mallala ...

TEAM BRM WINS AT HOME, CLUCAS GETS A ROUND ADVANTAGE AFTER MALLALA

Team BRM driver Ben Clucas has continued his unparalleled start to the 2006 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship by dominating the most recent round held at Mallala Raceway last weekend.

Clucas, driving his #84 Gawler Farm Machinery / ESWA Radiant Heating Dallara F304 -- Spiess entry, won two races, scored two pole positions and broke the year-old Mallala lap record to leave the weekend leading the Gold Star championship by 44 points.

It was the Englishman's sixth and seventh wins from eight races this year, giving him a full round's advantage as the series reaches its half way point, and the first with ESWA Radiant Heating on board as a sponsor of the #84 car.

Clucas' strong weekend started in qualifying, taking the race one pole at the last moment after sitting second behind Tim Macrow for a majority of the session.

Seemingly adept at timing his run perfectly, the Championship leader then scored the race two pole with just 30 seconds remaining in the second of Saturday's 20-minute qualifying sessions, ending the day having secured his second 'pole double' of the season.

Clucas won the opening race after a 20-lap battle with Tim Macrow, the pair exchanging lap records before the Team BRM driver lowered the mark to a stunning 1m04.3218 en route to the race victory.

Michael Trimble lead early in the second race before Clucas was able to make an aggressive passing maneuver in the turn three hairpin after taking advantage of a lapped runner slightly holding up the leading car.

He went on to snare a one second victory over season-long rival Trimble and Macrow.

Rookie driver Laurent LePage joined the team to drive the #3 Entry, making his first championship start after competing with the team in the non-points races at the Australian Grand Prix earlier this year.

LePage completed both races and, despite a steep learning curve and a competitive field, continued to make improvements throughout the weekend.

The young Victorian driver scored ninth and eighth-place results in the pair of qualifying sessions, respectively, improving almost two seconds between sessions in a promising performance.

The former Formula Ford competitor then raced strongly with a number of vastly more experienced competitors to notch ninth in race one and seventh in the second, continuing his trend of consistent improvement.

LePage scored 14 points for his efforts and now sits 9th in the championship.

BEN CLUCAS - #84 Team BRM / Gawler Farm Machinery / ESWA Radiant Heating Dallara F304 -- Spiess

"Usually we have lost a little bit of time compared to the other competitors in the second qualifying session, so it was very satisfying to be able to score both Pole Positions. We Made lots of changes to the car between sessions and the car was very good in Qualifying two.

"It was very difficult to pass, but my car was very strong into turn three in race two, so I didn't show my cards to Michael until he got slightly held up by a lapped runner which is when I was able to get by him and win.

"It's been a great weekend. We still haven't been able to get a perfect score of 44 points yet but we'll take it!"

LAURENT LePAGE - #3 Team BRM Dallara F304 -- Spiess

"I am a bit disappointed because I didn't expect to struggle quite so much. By the time I was up to speed It was just a bit too late.

"The car was pretty good but I was struggling with the braking and working with the Aero, I kept locking fronts and loosing time. The team did a good job to help get me up to speed and I think all I need is more time in the car to keep battling and improving."

BRONTE RUNDLE -- Team BRM owner

"What a good weekend it has been. Ben was at his best and drove very well to again record two race wins. He's doing a great job this season and it was great for him to win at the team's home circuit at Mallala. Laurent did a good job for his first championship start and I'm sure with more race miles he will be competitive.

"It's been a great start to the season and hopefully we can continue the momentum at Eastern Creek"

-www.teambrm.com.au

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About this article
Series F3
Drivers Ben Clucas , Tim Macrow