ASIAN CHAMPIONS TEAM GODDARD TEST ON AUSTRALIAN SOIL AHEAD OF GOLD STAR DEBUT The first international team to join the ranks of Formula 3 racing in Australia full-time has completed the first day of a two-part test at Mallala Raceway, in ...
ASIAN CHAMPIONS TEAM GODDARD TEST ON AUSTRALIAN SOIL AHEAD OF GOLD STAR DEBUT
The first international team to join the ranks of Formula 3 racing in Australia full-time has completed the first day of a two-part test at Mallala Raceway, in preparation for its debut in the series this year.
Team Goddard, the reigning Asian Formula 3 Champions, tested promising Japanese driver Sho Hanawa at Mallala yesterday utilising a leased Team BRM Dallara F307 Mercedes Benz chassis.
Two members of the Team Goddard operation - along with owner Mark Goddard - travelled to Australia earlier this week and ran the car utilising the local teams' facilities.
Philippines' based Team Goddard recently confirmed their intention to run a two car team in this years' Australian championship after racing in the non-championship support races at the Australian Grand Prix in 2007. The team also operates a successful Formula BMW operation in Asia under the Eurasia Motorsport banner.
19-year-old Hanawa, from Yokohama in Japan, completed several runs at the 2.6km circuit north of Adelaide and lapped competitively as team and driver came to grips with the warm Australian conditions - with a top temperature of nearly 30 degrees, Mallala was a full 28 degrees warmer than Tokyo when the driver left his homeland earlier this week.
Hanawa has existing Open Wheel experience in the British Formula Renault and Formula Renault winter cup series.
Team Goddard will remain in Australia until the weekend to complete a second day at Mallala this Saturday, again with Hanawa behind the wheel.
"It's great to be here, we have been looking forward to coming back to race in Australia since Melbourne (2007) which was a very good experience - we've been working on ways to come back ever since." Team owner Mark Goddard said.
"Everyone has been extremely helpful which makes it very easy for us to come here and compete. It's a different experience for us being an Asian team but hopefully we can bring some new drivers to Australian F3 and be competitive.
"As the reigning Asian champions we hope to be quick and add the Australian title to our trophy cabinet!" A smiling Goddard added. "But we're under no illusions that it will be an easy year. The Australian championship is very competitive and we are looking forward to the challenge."
Hanawa's best lap time - unofficially in the low 1m04-second bracket - compares favourably to the qualifying pace shown by the F307 cars at Mallala last year, Goddard pleased with the young drivers performance in his first look at the tricky Mallala layout.
"Sho did a very good job today," he said. "We were told that if he could get into the (1m) 04's it would be a good start. He got there quite quickly so we are now looking to go quicker than that during the remainder of our time here.
"It bodes well for the championship should Sho decide to race with us. We know it will be competitive but based on today there is no reason why we can't be towards the front of the grid and be a championship contender."