Gilmour returns to F3 with new ride WHEN HE ISN'T Racing, Queensland driver Chris Gilmour will usually be found trying to sell houses in suburban Brisbane and beyond. The entrepreneurial Gilmour has spent the past several years establishing...
Gilmour returns to F3 with new ride
WHEN HE ISN'T Racing, Queensland driver Chris Gilmour will usually be found trying to sell houses in suburban Brisbane and beyond.
The entrepreneurial Gilmour has spent the past several years establishing his own real estate firm with great success, but he has decided now is the time to make a return to a similarly competitive atmosphere - the race track.
Next weekend he will trade his usual attire of a business shirt and tie for some nomex and a helmet as he makes a return to the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship with some new wheels.
Gilmour, the 2008 F3 National Class champion and 2004 outright runner-up, will return to the outright class at the Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit next week behind the wheel of a recently-purchased, ex-Fortec Racing Dallara F307 Mercedes racer.
The vehicle, brought into the country by Queensland sports car racer Steve Morcombe, was driven by Greg and Leo Mansell - sons of F1 world champion Nigel - during it's time in British F3 before being imported to Australia in 2008.
Gilmour Racing, headed by Chris' father Errol, purchased the car recently and has spent until now thoroughly preparing the car for its return to the track next weekend.
"I haven't even turned a lap in it yet," Gilmour said.
"But I can't wait to get in it; it will be good to get back behind the wheel after a long break. It's been seven months since I was behind the wheel and that didn't end very well with a big crash at Oran Park.
"We have only just finished going over every single nut and bolt and making sure that our flawless record of no mechanical breakdowns remains intact."
The team has forged a relationship with the top British F3 winning Fortec squad, drawing on the teams' wealth of information - and the support of former Scud Racing mechanic Terry Stott, now based with Fortec in the UK - to assist their program this year.
"It might take a race or two to get a grip on the car, but I see no reason why this can't be the package to return Gilmour Racing to the top of the results sheet in F3 racing," Gilmour said.
Should Gilmour start all three races at Phillip Island the #17 driver will also rack up an impressive feat - his 90th championship race start.
The laconic Queenslander made his F3 debut in 2003 driving a 1996 Dallara, before upgrading to an F301 car the following season and narrowly missing out on the outright title by a handful of points, to Karl Reindler.
Gilmour has since remained faithful to Australian Formula 3, deciding to compete where he could derive the most enjoyment from the sport.
"The bottom line is that these cars are the best to drive in the country, so I'm going to keep driving them," He said.
"I hadn't realised that I was anywhere near making 90 starts - 100 has to be my aim now! I'm just pleased to be back in the seat and doing it at Phillip Island, my favourite track so it should be pretty awesome."
Gilmour Racing's strikingly liveried F307 will be supported by All Properties Group at Phillip Island.