PACE PROVED DESPITE TOUGH CLIPSAL FOR TANDERSPORT AND CRIGHTON TanderSport driver Ben Crighton bounced back from an early-weekend crash to score a solid points haul from the opening round of the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship at the ...
PACE PROVED DESPITE TOUGH CLIPSAL FOR TANDERSPORT AND CRIGHTON
TanderSport driver Ben Crighton bounced back from an early-weekend crash to score a solid points haul from the opening round of the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship at the Clipsal 500.
New Zealander Crighton unfortunately made light contact with the wall at turn 11 in the very first practice session of the weekend, leaving him a session behind his main championship rivals from the outset on one of the toughest tracks around.
After the car was repaired by the TanderSport crew, Crighton went out and despite zero practice was able to qualify 7th.
From there the weekend proved to be an extended test session, though Ben proved up to the task - whittling down his lap times session by session to be ‘on the money' by the final race of the weekend.
Ben was on track for a top-four (outright) finish in race two before overshooting the turn-nine hairpin when attempting to overtake two cars under brakes. He recovered to finish the race sixth and fourth of the championship class cars.
His best lap of 1m20.92 seconds was within almost half-a second second of the best lap logged by second place finisher Tim Macrow, showing the pace available.
As a result of the weekends' efforts, Crighton heads to Wakefield Park with 18 points and fourth in the Gold Star championship.
With the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship not having visited the rural New South Wales circuit since 2005, the 2.2km track will prove a level playing field for this years grid.
BEN CRIGHTON - TanderSport Dallara F307 - Mercedes Benz
"It was a fantastic event to be involved in, but it just didn't turn out the way I imagined! After I made a mistake at turn 11 early in practice, and losing the session we were on the back foot playing catch-up all weekend.
"It wasn't an ideal start from a championship point of view with Joey getting such a big jump, but we still have 14 races left. We have shown in testing that the pace is there, and I'm sure as we move back the more ‘traditional' circuits we will be more than competitive!"
LEANNE TANDER - Team Co-Owner, TanderSport.
"After missing practice, we were behind the eight ball all weekend and that made things difficult, but under the circumstances Ben did a really good job," Leanne Tander said.
"The weekend turned into an exercise for gaining experience and getting Ben as many laps as possible. By the final race he was very competitive and if it wasn't for the off he had at the hairpin in the final race he would have finished at least fourth outright. We go away from Clipsal with championship points in the bank and a solid foundation with a competitive car and driver. We're all looking forward to Wakefield."
AUSF3: 2009 Australian Formula 3 season calendar (REVISED)
Italia: RC Motorsport joins series