TWEEDIE TAKES STUNNING TASSIE F3 SUPERPRIX BEFORE THE FORMULA 3 Australian Drivers Championship came to Tasmania this weekend, Tom Tweedie had the National Class championship, the Rookie of the year award and several podium finishes to his F3...
TWEEDIE TAKES STUNNING TASSIE F3 SUPERPRIX
BEFORE THE FORMULA 3 Australian Drivers Championship came to Tasmania this weekend, Tom Tweedie had the National Class championship, the Rookie of the year award and several podium finishes to his F3 list of achievements.
Now he has two race victories, the championship lead and victory in the biggest and toughest race of the season after he today won the Tasmanian F3 SuperPrix in stunning fashion at Symmons Plains Raceway.
After winning his first heat yesterday, Tweedie started the 30-Lap SuperPrix from the front row before becoming involved in a mighty fight with leader Andrew Waite, Ben Barker and Kristian Lindbom.
Using sound race craft and a straight-line speed advantage shown by his 2004-spec Dallara, Tweedie took a turn at the lead early in the race before making a pass stick six laps from home.
From there he was never headed, winning a thriller by just a few tenths.
"This is the one we wanted, this is the one we came here to get and it feels unreal," Tweedie beamed.
"We knew we had good straight line speed and we just had to bide our time, make the right moves and make them stick. The car felt awesome and the team has done a fantastic job. This feels great - I think I could get used to it."
With his win, Tweedie - who also set the fastest lap - jumped to a clear lead in the Australian Drivers' Championship as the series heads to Phillip Island for round three in May.
"It's nice to build a buffer in the championship before Mitch and the Tander cars return," he said.
"From here we plan to step it up a level. We have a new engine to go in and we're going to keep on pressing hard and try to maintain our margin - though it's going to be very tough."
Early SuperPrix leader Andrew Waite slipped to third at the end of the race, team-mate Ben Barker getting past within sight of the flag to record his career best finish of second. Waite was third whilst John Magro finished fourth.
"It's been an up and down weekend," Barker, the Meguiar's pole award winner, said.
"To recover to second place after a tough weekend is a good effort and it's good to be on the podium. We had good speed but not quite enough to catch Tom as his car was so quick in a straight line - but this has been a good result."
The race was characterised by plenty of drafting and jostling for position, which came to a head when a flying Kristian Lindbom - who had again finished an outstanding, come from behind third in the second heat race - spun at the hairpin after fighting for second with Tweedie on lap 21.
Earlier in the day Waite - who filled in for Mitch Evans this weekend - won the second heat over Tweedie and Lindbom to record a stunning result in just his second ever race start.
"Given two weeks ago I had never even seen an F3 car, let alone raced one, I can't be too disappointed with this weekend!" the 20-year-old Kiwi said.
"I slipped towards the end of the SuperPrix and we just didn't have the pace to go with Tweedie and Ben, though third was still a good result.
"It is very nice, though, to be able to say that I have won a F3 race after I got the second heat. That was a great race and it felt good to win one. It's been a fantastic weekend."
John Magro finished fourth in the SuperPrix, whilst Tassie youngster Josh Burdon won himself a new legion of fans when he finished fifth place in the second R-Tek Dallara.
Zhang Shan Qi had held sixth place early however a suspected broken Exhaust dropped him down the order towards the end of the race. Lindbom recovered to sixth after his turn 4 spin.
The next round of the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship for the CAMS Gold Star will be held at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on May 1-2.