AUSF3: Albert Park Sunday report

BRUNO TAKES THREE-PEAT IN F3 THRILLER FINALE' IN MELBOURNE It's a common saying in Motorsport that once a driver has scored his or her first race win, subsequent successes flow much easier. 22-year-old Bruno Senna has continued to reinforce...


It's a common saying in Motorsport that once a driver has scored his or her first race win, subsequent successes flow much easier.

22-year-old Bruno Senna has continued to reinforce that as fact in Melbourne this weekend, today sealing a hat trick of race victories in the Dodo F3 races at the 2006 Formula 1 Fosters Australian Grand Prix and leaving the circuit holding the Formula 3 race lap record.

After scoring his first ever racing car victory Friday, Senna has been unstoppable on the fast Albert Park circuit since the historic moment and today won the final eight lap race by over five seconds.

Behind him, however, one of the races of the Grand Prix weekend was unfolding thanks to a massive three car battle between Tim Macrow, Michael Trimble and later, James Winslow.

After making a huge start, Senna simply drove away from the field today to record his third win from four races -- celebrating in the currently popular style by waving three fingers - symbolising the three wins - to the cheering crowd.

"I got a very good start and had a proper lead into the first turn," he smiled afterwards.

"I was pushing very had and made a good gap. After that it was not an eventful race, I was just driving hard and trying to go faster every time.

"It was a straightforward race," he said.

After scoring his first three wins of his career in Australia, Bruno said that the feeling was addictive.

"I need to win more races now, the feeling is so good. It's like a disease, now I have won one I want more."

Behind Senna a massive three car fight for second ensured for the entire race duration, notably a particularly ferocious battle between local drivers Tim Macrow and Michael Trimble.

The pair were nose to tail for a majority of the race, were often side by side and both gave no quarter.

After staving off Trimble's concerted attack lap after lap, Macrow was given a reprieve after his pursuer spun at the final corner on the penultimate lap and hit the wall.

Trimble emerged unhappy yet unscathed, whilst Macrow was able to pass James Winslow with a bold move on the grass on the final lap to take a last gasp second in his final race for the weekend.

Macrow was justifiably pleased with the result.

"It's just been getting better and better all weekend," He enthused.

"Last year I really struggled because I hadn't been in the car very much. This year I have been in the car more and been able to really drive the car how it should be driven.

"The lap I did today was probably the best the car could do and it wasn't far off that Bruno, so I'm stoked.

"I came here to have fun and get some results and we have been able to achieve that which is just great."

Both Macrow and Winslow stood on the podium in each of the weekend's races, Winslow continually improving his pace throughout the weekend and carding a first, two seconds and a third throughout the four races.

"Unfortunately I had gear selection issues so I wasn't able to give a really good challenge to Senna," the British driver said.

"I think that if I didn't have the problems I would have been able to race him.

"At the end of the race I was a bit disappointed to be on the third step of the podium, because that was the race where I wanted to be in a position to win by," he added.

"But in the end I looked at the crowd, I looked at the sun and I looked at the team and thought 'I really should enjoy this, it's great'.

"The car, the Piccola Scuderia team and the event have been the best I've ever experienced. I've had a great weekend." He enthused.

Behind the dicing trio at the front, Leanne Tander made an impressive comeback after dramas earlier in the weekend.

Driving her Holden supported Fleetcare Tander Sport Dallara, 25-year-old Leanne worked her way tenaciously through the field yesterday and was able to score a strong result today, her fourth place including her best lap time for the weekend showing the progress made.

Stephen Borness was fifth, the Adnet Technology driver posting some of the most consistent results of the weekend (Despite a non-finish earlier in the weekend) in a quiet yet committed performance. Borness' results should give the Sydneysider good confidence heading into the next round of the championship in Tasmania.

Ricky Occhipinti won the National class (for 1999 -- '01 model cars) today after a weekend long battle with Tim Berryman, whilst BRM rookie driver Laurent LePage again impressed with a solid 7th place.

Wensley Carol, Chris Barry and Trophy Class winner Graeme Holmes rounded out today's fourth and final top ten.

A notable performance came from Chris Alajajian, who commandeered the second Insight F3 Dallara (an older F301 model) today after more technical dramas sidelined his original car.

Originally driven this weekend by David Borg, Alajajian was forced to adapt to the unfamiliar car yet still managed to finish a strong 11th.

With the non championship races now concluded this weekend, the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 field will now cross Bass Straight and head to Symmons Plains raceway in Tasmania for the second round of the 2006 championship season next weekend.


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Series F3
Drivers Stephen Borness , Bruno Senna , Chris Alajajian , James Winslow , Tim Macrow , Leanne Tander , Graeme Holmes