AUSF3: Damien Digby Sandown race report

Damien Digby Motorsport - Racing For Malta Round 6, Australian Formula 3 Championship Sandown VIC - Sept 16 & 17, 2001 Digby Just Missses The Podium After Dramatic Races At Sandown September 17, 2001 - Maltese-Australian Formula 3 motor...

Damien Digby Motorsport - Racing For Malta
Round 6, Australian Formula 3 Championship
Sandown VIC - Sept 16 & 17, 2001

Digby Just Missses The Podium After Dramatic Races At Sandown

September 17, 2001 - Maltese-Australian Formula 3 motor racing driver, Damien Digby, has raced strongly at Melbourne's Sandown International Motor Raceway over the weekend to gain 4th and 10th place finishes in the two races to decide the sixth round of the Australian F3 Championship.

Digby was 3rd fastest during Saturday's qualifying session until the last 30 seconds of the session, when he misjudged a tow (slip stream) from a slower competitor, and lost three places due to a slower final lap, earning him 6th on the grid for the first race. Digby also endured excessive understeer during that session.

The second qualifying session saw the 25 year old Maltese driver set a fastest lap just 8/10ths of a second from the pole position time, and just 3/10ths of a second from 2nd, giving him the 4th spot (second row) on the highly competitive Sandown F3 grid.

Saturday's first race found Digby battling with series leader Peter Hackett along with Chris Coombs for third position. The drivers swapped positions numerous times during the race, but a mis-calculated out braking manouvre by Coombs resulted in a spin in front of Digby and his rivals, Hackett colliding with Coombs and Digby forced to completely stop and reverse out of the accident area, losing substantial time and positions to 8th. Digby then started another one of his fight-back drives from his lowly position making up four positions to just miss out on a podium finish to 4th by the chequered flag.

Race two on Sunday saw Digby make an excellent start, powering into 3rd by the first corner. The Maltese driver then attempted to pass Darren Palmer at the end of the back straight at over 220 kph. An accident took place directly in front of the battling drivers when Mike Beeley attempted to pass Digby and Hackett, missing his braking point and losing control directly in front of Digby's Dallara. Both Digby and Beeley ended up on the wet infield grass, and in attempting to get back onto the circuit and into the race, Digby's Dallara became stranded on a kerb. Race Marshalls pushed Digby off the kerb after a lengthy delay and the Maltese driver channeled his anger at the situation by completing the second fastest lap of the race (and sub lap record time) on his way to a points earning 10th position. Beeley was later disqualified by the Sandown race officials.

According to Digby, it was a bittersweet weekend at Sandown, "We were on the pace all weekend and steadily moved closer to the leading trio of Hackett, Templeman and Palmer throughout. The team did a great job with an in house built engine and an older chassis than those of our rivals. There is no doubt that we had a top three car at Sandown but a couple of acts of stupidity stole a podium finish from us. Beeley's move in race two was sheer lunacy and he was never going to make the corner. It is a shame when innocent drivers have to pay the price for someone else's mistake," He said.

"That's motor racing though and I am highly motivated about returning to Europe this week as the next four weeks will determine the fate of my international racing career. After a number of important meetings in England, I will return to Malta to generate further support to represent the nation in international motor racing next year," Digby added.

Maltese corporations will have the opportunity to be involved in Digby's 2002 British F3 Championship campaign, gaining exposure to millions of British and European consumers, while negotiations are in place for Maltese national television coverage of his races in 2002. Companies who select Digby as their marketing platform will gain publicity and consumer exposure the likes of which Malta has not known before as there has never been a high profile international circuit racing driver from the country.

Maltese companies who want to learn more about this major marketing opportunity need to contact Damien Digby directly on +61 412 868 788 to convene a meeting time as soon as possible.

This is a rare opportunity for Maltese brands and services to be promoted vigorously in Britain and Europe through an international sports person representing the country.

Involvement in this project represents the next step for Maltese companies seeking to increase local and export / foreign sales generated profits through strategic sports marketing, extensive media coverage and promotional activity.

- http://dms.netstra.com.au

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About this article
Series F3
Drivers Peter Hackett