F3

AUSF3: Team BRM Phillip Island preview

CLUCAS ON THE FAST TRACK TO SUCCESS THIS WEEKEND Team BRM's Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship leader Ben Clucas has finally had his first taste of Australia's fastest racetrack, completing a successful day's testing at the Phillip...

CLUCAS ON THE FAST TRACK TO SUCCESS THIS WEEKEND

Team BRM's Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship leader Ben Clucas has finally had his first taste of Australia's fastest racetrack, completing a successful day's testing at the Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit yesterday in preparation for this weekend's third round of the 2006 series.

Clucas, who leads the race for the Australian Drivers Championship by 16 points, completed approximately 68 laps of the 4.45km circuit south of Melbourne yesterday in perfect conditions.

The #84 John Deere / Gawler Farm Machinery Dallara F304 Spiess logged a best lap of 1m27.0 - bang on the pole time set for last season's championship round at the famous circuit.

This weekend's championship round will mark Clucas' first foray onto a high speed circuit in this year's Kumho Tyres-supported championship, having contested the opening two rounds on the tight Symmons Plains and Wakefield Park layouts.

The 22-year-old British driver, who since his last Formula 3 hit out won the New Zealand Motorsport Cup at Pukekohe Raceway, professed himself satisfied with the day's work.

"We were able to get a good number of laps in and set consistent times yesterday," explained Clucas.

"It was hard to tell how our time compared to the other cars, especially because Trimble didn't have much track time. But the best lap compares quite well to the pole lap from last year so we aren't too far off.

"The track is very good," he added.

"It's the best we've been to so far since I have been in Australia. It's very flowing, fast and is a much higher speed circuit than the ones we have been to before."

Team BRM owner Bronte Rundle echoed his drivers comments.

"It was a very successful test day. Ben completed 65 -- 68 laps and set some very consistent and fast times." Rundle said.

"The team is really looking forward to seeing Ben in action here. It's definitely more his style of circuit and I think we should be up for another good weekend.

"The test day was trouble free. There weren't many cars at the circuit testing yesterday, so there wasn't much of an opportunity to gauge who will be competitive, but I think it could be another good weekend for Team BRM." He said.

This weekend's third round of the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship for the CAMS Gold Star gets underway at Phillip Island tomorrow -- with two practice sessions -- before Qualifying Saturday and two, 14 lap races set to be held on Sunday.

The Kumho Tyres Formula 3 championship -- a series Team BRM has won twice, in 2002 and 2004 - is contested as part of the new-for-2006 CAMS Nationals' a racing series combining the F3 Open wheelers, GT cars, Commodore Cup and more.

Phillip Island won't be the only centre of attention for Team BRM this weekend, however, the team running young Queensland talents John and Kain Magrow in the second round of the 2006 South Australian State Formula Ford Championship.

Following a promising debut for both drivers at the opening round of the State Series in late February, the pair set to return to Mallala this weekend to continue to develop their driving skills aboard BRM's Formula Fords.

The South Australian State Motor Racing Championships will be held at Mallala Raceway this weekend.

-brm

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Series F3
Drivers Phillip Island