2001 Australian Formula 3 Championship Round 2 - Wakefield Park 5-6 May For the second round of the National Formula 3 Championship, teams headed to a cold and blustery Wakefield Park near Goulburn in New South Wales. Even with the cold ...
2001 Australian Formula 3 Championship
Round 2 - Wakefield Park 5-6 May
For the second round of the National Formula 3 Championship, teams headed to a cold and blustery Wakefield Park near Goulburn in New South Wales. Even with the cold conditions, the crowd figure was very good.
Wind, rain and cold hampered Friday practice and Saturday qualifying. One competitor said he thought they were back in the UK with terrible conditions on offer. Peter Hackett's Dallara setting a 0.57.12 in the morning and a 0.56733 in the afternoon dominated Friday's practice. Close behind were the BRM duo of Kiwi Daynom Templeman and Darren Palmer. M-Speed's Mike Beeley also got under the 59-second mark. Saturday's qualifying was a torrid affair with all drivers unable to get any tyre temperature. Templeman got down to a 0.56.370 narrowly followed by Hackett on 0.56.450. BRM's Palmer was third. The second session was greeted with rain. Hackett gained pole with a 1m10.76 over Templeman on 1m12.98Championship leader James Manderson put engine problems behind him to record a 1m13.30 that was good enough for third.
Race one saw Palmer retire on the installation lap with teammate Templeman doing the same on the grid. Hackett took the lead with Manderson close behind. Due to the slippery conditions many drivers were caught out which lead to a safety car being deployed. A first for the Formula 3 category. Five laps later, all the stranded cars were removed and racing continued. Manderson was the first to pull off due to a faulty battery. Hackett was not troubled after that posting his second victory of the season. Mike Beeley was delighted with his 2nd place as was Chris Coombs with his 3rd. Adelaide's Sean Whelan was 4th in the aging Reynard 893 followed home by Damien Digby.
Race two started with Hackett on pole looking for a clean sweep of the points. Templeman had other ideas though, wanting to make up for his non-start in race 1. Hackett lead away from Templeman, Manderson and Digby. The first two broke away from the pack with an intense battle until lap 6 with Templeman forcing his way through. The battle didn't end there. Hackett made several attempts to regain the lead. A missed gear gave Templeman enough of a gap until the red flag came out for all the accidents. One car was left out near the final turn proving a danger to the officials. It turned out that 75% of the race was completed thus making a re-start null and void. Manderson again retired leaving third to Palmer. Coombs followed in third with Craig Smith in the Level 2 Reynard fourth.
So off to Victoria Phillip Island for races 5 and 6. Hopefully the Island can give us some better weather. I doubt it though with sub artic winds blowing off the Tasman Sea. Can't wait.