FORMULA 3 BAR RAISED BY TEAM BRM AFTER PRE EVENT TEST Team BRM import Ben Clucas has already raised the bar on Australian Formula 3 competition after just 60 laps in a car on Australian soil. The 21-year-old driver, who lived near Silverstone...
FORMULA 3 BAR RAISED BY TEAM BRM AFTER PRE EVENT TEST
Team BRM import Ben Clucas has already raised the bar on Australian Formula 3 competition after just 60 laps in a car on Australian soil.
The 21-year-old driver, who lived near Silverstone in the UK before landing on Aussie soil last week, set a blistering pace during the official Formula 3 test day at Goulburn's Wakefield Park Raceway yesterday despite it being his first time behind the wheel of the Gawler Farm Machinery / John Deere Team BRM Dallara that he will drive this season.
Clucas lapped in the 54-second bracket at the 2.2km Wakefield Park circuit and sent a warning shot to his rivals that he will be a force to be reckoned with this year.
Adelaide-based Team BRM had a productive day overall with returning driver Jason Vince also completing a solid day's work acclimatizing to the F304 Dallara he will drive at Wakefield and the Grand Prix. The Queenslander completed a number of runs in the car and dramatically improved his times as the day progressed.
Both drivers' performances yesterday further re-enforced the team's intentions to regain the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship this season.
Clucas, 21, said that he was happy with the day's test session.
"It went quite well. Apart from Leanne Tander there wasn't any of the front runners there so it quite difficult to know where we are going to be," he said.
"The track was good, especially the fast right hand kink (turn 8) which is a really challenging corner.
"The team has been really good to work with. There is a very good atmosphere amongst them and it makes it very enjoyable. It's also good to work with (engineer) Marcus Koch again after working with in Europe."
Koch said that the testing program went to expectations.
"It went very well yesterday, but I really expected it to," he said.
"Everything went to plan. I think some people may be surprised by the pace Ben is showing but its not a surprise to me at all. He is very quick."
Jason Vince also completed a solid day of running at the 2.2km Goulburn circuit, acclimatizing to the F304 model car after making his only previous Formula 3 start at the wheel of an older 2001-model chassis at the A1 Grand Prix of Nations meeting last November.
Vince, like most drivers, believed that he could have showed more pace than the final results from the test session showed.
"I'm not unhappy with the effort yesterday," said Vince, who completed more than 50 Laps of the Wakefield track driving his Kings Transport-supported Dallara.
"Obviously I'd like to be going faster but it was a good day that enabled me to get used to the car I'll be driving this weekend and at the Grand Prix.
"It was good to get back into the seat. Hopefully we can continue the improvement during the weekend and score some good results for my sponsors this weekend." He said.
Wednesday's testing session held particular importance for Vince, who will be forced to miss opening practice Friday due to extensive work commitments in his native Brisbane.
Team BRM owner Bronte Rundle said that he was very happy with the progress shown by both drivers throughout Wednesday's running.
"It was a very good day for the team and its drivers," Rundle said.
"Ben proved to all of us today the level of talent that he has -- it was clear for all to see and extremely impressive to watch on track. He was extremely fast straight out of the box despite never having seen the circuit and I think that he will be right at the pointy end this weekend.
"Jason did a good job coming to grips with the circuit and I think that there is a good chance that he will be able to tack onto the back of the leading group this weekend and get quicker and quicker. He's got a big learning curve learning the track and the car but he is doing a very good job so far." He said.
Team BRM's championship season gets underway this weekend with the opening round of the 2006 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship for the CAMS Gold Star award.