Quick qualifying times set up an exciting race day for Team BRM
Both Team BRM drivers, Craig Rundle and Karl Reindler, each in a Dallara F301 Spiess Opel, put in excellent performances in today's two qualifying sessions, ensuring that they will be in contention for podium finishes in tomorrow's two races.
Sunshine greeted the teams at Winton Raceway this morning, providing perfect conditions for the first qualifying session of the 7th round of the 2003 Australian Formula 3 Championship.
Reindler has not raced at Winton previously and has spent much of the weekend learning the tight Victorian track. He was able to adapt to the new track quickly and was setting times faster than the current lap record of 1.18.1473 throughout the first qualifying session. The record is currently held by 2002 Australian Formula 3 Championship runner up, and current British Formula 3 competitor, Will Power. In the first qualifying session, Reindler set a time of 1.17.6102, a full half a second ahead of Power's record time, qualifying in 5th place. Pole sitter, James Cressey, Dallara F301 Spiess Opel, was just 8 tenths of a second ahead of Reindler, setting a time of 1.16.8601.
The high level of talent and competition currently seen in this category was again demonstrated in the second qualifying session with the top three drivers separated by just 4 hundredths of a second. Reindler was able to close the gap to the pole sitter, Michael Caruso, Dallara F301 Fiat Nova, to just 4 tenths, qualifying on the second row of the grid, in 4th place for the second race tomorrow.
Reindler's Team BRM team mate, Craig Rundle, set competitive times in both qualifying sessions. Rundle was running in the top three for most of both qualifying sessions proving he has the pace to match it with the front runners in tomorrow's races. His fastest time was beaten by the final flying laps of the Championship front runners in the closing minutes of the first session this morning, pushing him back to 7th place on the grid. Rundle spun towards the end of the second qualifying session, flat spotting two tyres making it difficult to set quick lap times from than on.
Later in the session Rundle was forced back to the pits with a clutch problem, cutting short his second qualifying session. Rundle will start the second race in 7th place. The Team have replaced his clutch for tomorrow's two races.
Team BRM are very positive about the two races tomorrow and are confident of improving on their qualifying positions during the race, and picking up some more valuable championship points.
Winton provided some of the most exciting races of the Championship last year and if these qualifying sessions are anything to go by, we are in for two exciting races tomorrow.