PAIR OF FRONT ROW STARTS FOR ALAJAJIAN Chris Alajajian will start both races in Round 2 of the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship for the CAMS Gold Star at Symmons Plains Raceway from the front row of the grid, after strong ...
PAIR OF FRONT ROW STARTS FOR ALAJAJIAN
Chris Alajajian will start both races in Round 2 of the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship for the CAMS Gold Star at Symmons Plains Raceway from the front row of the grid, after strong performances in qualifying today.
Alajajian enters the weekend in third place in the Championship, and kept his 2006 record of securing top-two results in qualifying intact.
Along with the insight F3 crew, the Sydneysider has worked diligently on Friday and throughout today's qualifying sessions to ensure he has a good car for the races around the 2.4km Tasmanian circuit.
In each qualifying session, Alajajian was tantalisingly close to recording pole position, ending each in second place. He was two-one-hundredths of a second shy from pole position in the opening qualifying session, and just over five-one-hundredths behind in session two.
"The setup wasn't quite right initially, so we came in and made some adjustments and they made a huge improvement to the car," said Alajajian after the first session.
"We'll keep working along the same lines with some more adjustments before qualifying two and I think we'll be fighting even harder than in the first session."
Traffic an d red flags played a big part in the second session, with Alajajian battling to find space to produce a clean lap. A late red-flag period played into his hands, though, and allowed him to restart the session at the head of the pack and improve from third place up to second in the small window of opportunity.
"Early in the second session, our car was good and our tyres were at their peak potential, but we didn't have much of a chance to do things well because of the traffic," explained Alajajian.
"I got a few flatspots on the front tyres while trying to get through the traffic and find some space, so the tyres are in a bit of an ordinary state.
"When the red flag came out with a couple of minutes to go, I got some clean road and was able to improve on my time and get back up to second place."
Tomorrow, Alajajian will be looking to strike in each 25-lap race.
"The tyres are a bit of a concern, as we have to use them in both qualifying sessions and the two races. Hopefully I can avoid putting too many more marks on them tomorrow and can come home strongly in both races," he admitted.
"But all the changes that we have made to the car have been positive, and it has really improved over the last day or two and there are still some areas we can look into tonight.
"We'll see what we can do tomorrow."