F3

AUSF3: Team BRM Oran Park race report

ORAN PARK - A CASE OF WHEN THINGS DON'T GO TO PLAN FOR TEAM BRM. One of the varied things about Motorsport is that quite often things just don't go right. The same can be said for Team BRM's recent showing at Oran Park Raceway in Sydney --...

ORAN PARK - A CASE OF WHEN THINGS DON'T GO TO PLAN FOR TEAM BRM.

One of the varied things about Motorsport is that quite often things just don't go right.

The same can be said for Team BRM's recent showing at Oran Park Raceway in Sydney -- which started strongly but ended under unfortunate circumstances for both the team and the race itself.

Heading into the weekend, the second round of the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship, Team BRM had every reason to be optimistic.

Firstly, Stuart Kostera (#29 Team BRM / Audi Centre Melbourne Dallara F304 -- Renault) was just two points behind in the championship and looming as a true contender for series honours.

And secondly, was the story of young Italian driver Marco Mapelli who was again to drive the #4 Team BRM / Gawler Farm Machinery Dallara F304 Spiess Opel.

Mapelli had been stunning at the non-championship Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, racing to a podium finish three times and showing that he is one of the biggest finds of the season.

So the ingredients were in place -- and qualifying went well, too.

Mapelli lined up fourth for both races, less than two-tenths from pole position in the second qualifying session.

Kostera qualified fifth and sixth respectively and was looking to grab a solid haul of championship points to continue his chase for the championship.

Kostera jumped Mapelli in race one and finished fourth, one position ahead of his young team-mate and just a few seconds behind a battle for second place being waged by Leanne Tander and Tim Macrow.

Race two also went well -- for the first few corners.

Mapelli made a storming start and was placing extreme pressure on Tander's car in the opening laps -- clearly quicker.

Unfortunately, he was deemed to have rolled at the start and was subsequently black flagged and told to head to the pits to serve his penalty. Fired up, Mapelli banked the races quickest lap on the comeback trail and eventually finished 6th.

Amazingly Kostera and another competitor were also penalised for an identical problem and were also sent to pit lane -- Kostera ending the race one position behind his team-mate in 7th.

It was a harsh end to a strong run for the Team BRM drivers that would have surely seen at least one driver make the podium.

"It is frustrating because we had lots of speed and maby we could have been in the top three," Mapelli said afterwards.

"That was a tough weekend," Agreed Kostera.

"We re-invented the wheel on the car throughout the weekend and it made it better but it wasn't quite there. Got some good points though, which is a start."

Team owner Bronte Rundle was slightly less amicable.

"My compliments to the judge of fact at the meeting who was able to see three cars roll at once before the race one start," he said.

"Perhaps when the rebuild the circuit in the future they won't have an incline on the start line so inadvertent gravity-created movement of cars can be stopped.

"Marco's recovery in race two was proof in our belief that he will soon be a podium contender.

"Stuart struggled to find a good setup and I think that shows how vital pre-event testing really is. We're looking forward to Phillip Island -- we were quick there this year and hopefully we can be again this year." Said Rundle.

-credit: team brm

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About this article
Series F3
Drivers Marco Mapelli , Tim Macrow , Leanne Tander , Stuart Kostera , Phillip Island