TRIMBLE KEEPS THE POINTS TICKING OVER Astuti Motorsport's Michael Trimble has added another healthy bag of points to his Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship for the CAMS Gold Star points tally, after notching up a pair of podium...
TRIMBLE KEEPS THE POINTS TICKING OVER
Astuti Motorsport's Michael Trimble has added another healthy bag of points to his Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship for the CAMS Gold Star points tally, after notching up a pair of podium finishes at Eastern Creek.
The team returned to the circuit where Trimble won both races in the 2005 season finale looking for another strong result in the fifth round of the 2006 season. While the result from last December couldn't be replicated, the King Springs Renault-Sodemo Dallara F304 was in the hunt all weekend.
Trimble opened his account for the weekend with strong second place in Race 1, resisting pressure from Tim Macrow in a race-long battle. The tables turned in the second race, with Trimble applying pressure to Macrow late in Race 2 for second place, however was left to limp home for third place with a flat battery.
"We had good speed in the races," said Trimble. "The car was good, particularly in Race 2. Unfortunately in Race 1 Ben [Clucas] was just too quick for me, and in Race 2 I just didn't get the best first lap which put us on the back foot.
"Even towards the end, I started to chase down Tim and thought I might possibly be able to have a go at him on the last lap but the battery went flat.
"I think this weekend was another one where the results could have easily been better for us, but second and third is better than nothing and we got another good haul of points."
The race day results came after hard work by Trimble and the Astuti Motorsport crew earlier in the weekend. Trimble recorded the fourth fastest time in each of Friday's practice sessions, and the team got to work on the car setup overnight to further improve the times.
With a number of changes implemented, the crew were upbeat heading into qualifying, however the improvements were masked by traffic. Trimble eventually notched up a pair of third place starting positions, and was a scant 0.0535 seconds off pole in Qualifying 1
"In Qualifying 1, we definitely had the car to get pole position," he said. "Unfortunately with the traffic conditions out there it just didn't happen for me.
"We were so close, and I knew there was so much more in the car that we weren't able to get, so that was tough. We struggled for setup in second qualifying and the pace just wasn't there."
Trimble's pair of podiums moves him up to 146 Championship points. He maintains second place, 60 points behind Clucas. On August 18-20, the Formula 3 field makes their second trip to Victoria's Phillip Island Raceway for the year.
Between now and then, Astuti Motorsport plan to expand to a two-car team, with a second Renault-Sodemo Dallara F304 currently on it's way to Australia from Italy. Opportunities exist with the team for budgeted drivers interested in running the remainder of the year.
"This weekend didn't quite go the way we had hoped, but it's important to keep collecting points as a bad round would be very costly," said Astuti Motorsport team owner Sam Astuti.
"At different times the setup wasn't quite there, but Michael never gave up and the guys stuck at it all weekend.
"The new car will arrive in a couple of weeks, so it is a pretty exciting time as we get ready to return to Phillip Island, hopefully as a two-car team. We were quick but a bit unlucky at Phillip Island in May, so we'll be looking to make up for that with a strong weekend."