Team BRM confident of home ground advantage at Mallala. ADELAIDE - Monday, April 11th, 2005 -- Home-ground advantage is a term usually used in sports like the AFL, NRL or NBL, but rarely is it terminology associated with motorsport. However,...
Team BRM confident of home ground advantage at Mallala.
ADELAIDE - Monday, April 11th, 2005 -- Home-ground advantage is a term usually used in sports like the AFL, NRL or NBL, but rarely is it terminology associated with motorsport.
However, whilst not playing as significant a part in the team's commercial success as it is in the ball sports mentioned, having a home circuit as an early round of a tough national championship can pay dividends when it comes to the team's title aspirations -- which is why Adelaide based team BRM is looking forward with great anticipation to this coming weekend's second round of the 2005 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship at Mallala raceway, north of Adelaide.
The team -- winners of the Australian Formula 3 title in 2002 and 2004 -- heads into their home round positioned strongly in the championship and will be looking to use their extensive knowledge of the 2.8km Mallala circuit to their advantage as much as possible to give their drivers a leg up in the points standings.
18-year-old Adelaidian Tim Slade (#8 TSRWine.com / Gawler Farm Machinery Dallara F304 Speiss) heads back to Mallala this weekend after making his spectacular debut at the circuit in September last year - where he took a race win in the opening race of last year's (Seventh) round of the championship - showing fans and followers of Australian motorsport that he is definitely a star of the future.
Slade, who is based in the picturesque McLaren vale wine region of South Australia, will also debut a brand new car at Mallala, jumping into a latest spec F304 Dallara direct from crack UK team Menu Motorsport for the first time.
Tim currently lies 4th in the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 championship points chase with 18 points after the opening round of the series' at Wakefield Park, Goulburn, in February.
20-year-old Melbournian Michael Trimble (#20 Team BRM Dallara F304 Speiss) heads to Mallala poised just off the championship lead after an excellent opening round at Wakefield Park, where despite slightly struggling for pace he took an excellent victory in the second race.
Recent speed shown in testing, however, has proved that the committed Victorian will be able take the fight right to the leaders at Mallala in what is expected to be an intensely competitive battle at the front of the field.
Trimble, a former Australian Formula Ford Championship race winner, has been one of the rookie revelations this season and goes into the second round of the championship just a point behind Astuti competition teammates Chris Alajajian and Aaron Caratti.
And whilst Slade and Trimble are expected to battle at the front of the outright field, team BRM's third driver Marc Williams (#3 Mobil 1 / Speed Sport NZ Dallara F398 Speiss) will be aiming to continue to improve in the close battle for Trophy Class honours after an up and down start to the season.
Kiwi Williams -- just 16 years old -- was thrown in to the deep end of Australian Formula 3 competition at Wakefield Park but was still able to show glimpses of his potential during a tough weekend. It was at the Grand Prix support races, though, that Williams shone -- recovering from an off track adventure in the first race to post excellent top ten finishes for the remainder of the weekend.
Round two of the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship will be contested at Mallala Raceway, 55km north of Adelaide, on April 16th and 17th.
Team BRM DRIVERS VIEW -- Pre Mallala.
TIM SLADE (#8 TSRWine.com / Gawler Farm Machinery Dallara F304 Speiss)
Currently 4th in the championship with 18pts
"Im really looking forward to debuting the new car at Mallala this weekend. If it was any other track, I would be a bit worried about running a new car because we would struggle to develop a set-up and learn the car, But because I know Mallala really well and how a car should feel around there, it will save us a lot of time and gives me a lot of confidence that we will be able to get the car on the pace quickly.
"Im definitely going into the round looking for a boost in the championship. We have started fairly well, but we need to take a step up this weekend at our home round and get a stack of points for the championship."
MICHAEL TRIMBLE (#20 Team BRM Dallara F304 Speiss)
Currently 3rd in the championship with 32pts.
"We are looking forward to a good weekend at our home track. It's been a steep learning curve getting used to driving these cars and working out how they respond but now I think I know what to expect.
"We have done plenty of laps around Mallala and have got an excellent set-up for the track, so I'm really confident that we are going to be right on the pace when we hit the circuit at the end of the week. We're going into the weekend trying to make the most of our 'home track advantage' and try and come away from the round with the championship points lead -- I wont be completely satisfied unless we achieve that goal."
Team BRM FAST FACTS -- Mallala (Round 2 of 8)
THE YOUTH FACTOR - Team BRM heads into their home round with what is one of the youngest combined driver line ups in Australian Motorsport -- the average age of the three drivers competing at Mallala being just 18 years old. When the age of the team's fourth driver Nic Jordan (not competing at Mallala) is taken into effect, the average age drops to just 17.5 years.
BANG FOR BUCK - Tim Slade and Michael Trimble, despite their inexperience in the category, both have excellent strike rates in Australian Formula 3 competition. Tim Slade has already racked up one win, a fourth and two fifth places in just four starts, whilst teammate Trimble has an even better strike rate -- taking a win and a third from his two starts to date.
RECORD BREAKER -- Expect times to tumble at Mallala this weekend, as the ultra competitive Formula 3 field push themselves to the limits. Lap records at Wakefield Park and the Grand Prix have already been broken this season and team BRM engineers predict that given the right conditions, the Mallala record could tumble as well. The current Mallala F3 lap record was set last year by Team BRM's Karl Reindler at a 1m04.7866.
AIMING FOR GOLD-- AND A1! -- Drivers contesting the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 championship already have a significant prize to aim for -- the Gold Star award for the Australian Drivers Champion -- but an announcement made recently is set to make the battle to the flag even more intense at Mallala: the winner of this year's title will receive a test drive in the Team Australia Lola A1GP Car at the end of the season making the seasons spoils even more lucrative.
Team BRM RACE DATES -- Mallala (Round 2 of 8)
Circuit: Mallala Raceway, South Australia
Qualifying: Saturday April 16th
Races 1&2: Sunday, April 17th