16 YEAR OLD INDONESIAN ROOKIE RIO HARYANTO JOINS F3ADC AT QR 16-year-old Indonesian driver Rio Haryanto will make his Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship debut at Queensland Raceway next week amidst a strong 15-car entry set for the series...
16 YEAR OLD INDONESIAN ROOKIE RIO HARYANTO JOINS F3ADC AT QR
16-year-old Indonesian driver Rio Haryanto will make his Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship debut at Queensland Raceway next week amidst a strong 15-car entry set for the series return to the Ipswich circuit.
Haryanto, who hails from Central Java, will drive the #16 PHR Scuderia Dallara F304 Renault prepared by Team BRM for (at least) the Queensland event, round six of the 2009 Gold Star title race.
The youngster's inclusion in the Queensland entry list ensures the field will have drivers hailing from four different countries - Australia, New Zealand, Britain and Indonesia. Aussie drivers hail from four states with a record five coming from Queensland.
Most entered for round six will then back up the following week for the big Oran Park farewell where another good grid is expected for the penultimate round of '09.
Though he has only raced cars for two seasons, Haryanto has amassed a spectacular resume' and has positioned himself as one of the top young talents emerging from the Asian motorsport scene.
Haryanto finished 4th outright in the Rotax Max World Grand Final, in Italy, in 2008 during a season that also saw him win five times in the Formula Asia 2.0 series, and finish as top Asian driver in his first year behind the wheel of a racing car.
After contesting two rounds of Asian Formula Renault earlier this year, Haryanto has since contested the Formula BMW Pacific series and has been one of the most impressive drivers winning two rounds - and finishing on the podium on two other occasions - to date.
At just 16 he has been made an ambassador for Asian foundation 'Antidrug', promoting clean, healthy and drug-free lifestyles.
Haryanto's Formula 3 debut will put two of the PHR cars on the grid for the first time this year with team boss Maher Algadri back behind the wheel of the #15 entry, both being operated out of the Team BRM stable that also runs current point's leader Joey Foster.
The Queensland Raceway entry list features several new and returning names to the championship, and has been boosted by a large contingent of Queenslanders keen to race in front of their home crowd.
The ever-present Chris Gilmour will be keen to use his local miles to his advantage on his return to the F3 National class, the F3 'race within a race' taking a notable step up in competition next weekend when Gilmour returns to challenge class runaway leader Tom Tweedie.
Haryanto and R-Tek Motorsport's new young star Roger I'Anson will also add spice to the battle of the F304 Dallaras.
Queensland businessman Kevin Miller returns with a two-car team of F301 entries, one Renault-powered example for himself and one for 2008 Trophy (now National B) class champion Andrew Mill. Both will be sponsored by Scarborough Holiday Parks and Mill will be keen to return to last year's form that saw him mixing it with the National Class leaders.
The car that took Tim Macrow to the 2007 title will return to the track for the first time since its success, owner and former F3 regular Bevan Carrick looking forward to his return to the F3 hot seat.
Steve Morcombe, from the Sunshine coast, will also take to the track for the first time since 2008 when he gets back behind the wheel of his immaculate ex-Fortec / Greg Mansell driven F307 Mercedes.
Of course, the newbie's and returnees will all be forced to watch the intense battle for the Gold Star currently being waged by this years' 'Fast Four'.
Joey Foster leads Scud Racing's Tim Macrow by just eleven points, with F3's newest winner Mat Sofi nipping at their heels after a winning run at Eastern Creek. TanderSport driver Ben Crighton is also driving better than ever and - on what will essentially be a level playing field - should contend once again in Queensland.
Foster will be spurred on to win at Queensland after signing Brisbane based Club, B Confidential, to sponsor the #5 car for the weekend. Macrow, meanwhile, will return to the scene of his first ever F3 race win back in 2006 when he was driving the Cooltemp Dallara.
Victorian Michael Trimble holds the Formula 3 lap record at Queensland Raceway, set in 2005 at 1m06.1159s. The introduction of the later-specification cars and engines to the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship since then should see quicker times should conditions be suitable next weekend.
The sixth round of the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship for the CAMS Gold Star will feature the usual two races, to be held on Sunday alongside the V8 Supercars.