TEAM BRM STILL IN FRONT WITH CRUSHING WINSLOW WIN AT EASTERN CREEK. RACE STARTS were a critical part of the weekends' sixth Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship round at Eastern Creek that didn't go to plan -- but it didn't stop Team...
TEAM BRM STILL IN FRONT WITH CRUSHING WINSLOW WIN AT EASTERN CREEK.
RACE STARTS were a critical part of the weekends' sixth Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship round at Eastern Creek that didn't go to plan -- but it didn't stop Team BRM from asserting its position as the fastest team in pit lane as it continued an impressive run of form at the weekend.
Two of Team BRMs drivers smashed the existing Eastern Creek Lap record whilst one driver recorded the most crushing win the championship has seen in three years, in winning race two.
And the team still co-leads the championship with the driver of car #5, Nathan Caratti, tied on 145 points with Leanne Tander.
Caratti had a tough weekend -- despite dominating qualifying Saturday and taking his second and third pole positions of the season. Two slow starts, however, left him outside the top three in race one (he finished fourth) and further back in race two after a racing incident with Mat Sofi early in the race.
Charging back though the field, Caratti re-set the lap record that had been set earlier in the day, leaving Eastern Creek's new F3 benchmark at 1m24.4881s.
James Winslow's weekend experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows -- all in the space of about three hours.
In race one he was penalised a drive-through pit lane for rolling at the start from his second-place grid position; only to cut a swathe though the field in stunning fashion to initially smash the three-year old Lap record in his recovery to sixth place.
In race two Winslow got a (clean) jump from the line and after leading into turn two was never headed, lapping almost a second per lap faster than anyone else at stages though the race to win the 14-lap affair by 11.8 seconds.
Winslow's win was the largest winning margin in a championship F3 race since December 2005, also at Eastern Creek, and drew him to within eight points of the championship lead with two rounds to go.
F3 Returnee Chris Alajajian rejoined Team BRM at Eastern Creek and put an immediate impact on the results sheet despite six months out of the seat.
He charged to second in race one before backing up the performance with a solid third in the second race, scoring the teams 15th race podium finish of the season to date in the process.
In the F3 National Class Lee Farrell had a weekend to forget, though he remains within a round of class leader Chris Gilmour with four races remaining.
Team manager Mark Rundle said that the team was ready for the charge to the flag after another weekend of scintillating pace.
"Two lap records and a massive win were obviously a highlight for Team BRM at Eastern Creek, but we're still very aware there is plenty of racing to go and we will keep pushing hard," Rundle said.
"It was a tough weekend for Nathan but he did a good job to minimise the damage and score points towards his championship. James has closed the gap to the leaders whilst Chris had a strong weekend on his return to F3. It was great to have him back in the team. Lee had a weekend that I'm sure he would rather forget but he can go out in the final two rounds without any pressure to show us all what he is capable off again.
"We're looking forward to heading back to the Island in a few weeks to try and continue our quest for the title."
Team BRM will be in action at the Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit between August 8 -- 10.
Nathan Caratti - #5 Parklands on Bertram Dallara F307 Mercedes
"It was a pretty disappointing weekend overall given the speed that we had in qualifying and throughout the races. The car was really good all weekend but there is something about this place when I qualify on pole -- it never seems to work out for me. We had plenty of speed which is a positive and hopefully we can get back in front at Phillip Island."
Chris Alajajian - # 3 TheChris.com.au / Nudie Dallara F307 Mercedes
"After more than half a year of not being in the seat I couldn't have asked for a better return and results. I think there was also potential to gain some result there -- but time in the car and track time would have helped. It was good racing, a good start and a really consistent result overall. The tem has done a great job so thanks to them."
James Winslow - #4 Driving Solutions Dallara F307 Mercedes
"Race two fas fantastic, really brilliant. Race 2 made up for R1. Our strategy in qualifying was to save the tyres and it definitely paid off. We had good pace and I have to say thanks to BRM and my engineer, J.P. because the car was awesome as you can see by the results. Thanks to Driving Solutions for supporting me this weekend and hopefully we can find the budget to do the remainder of the season, because it's looking better than ever."
Lee Farrell - #6 No Fear Dallara F304 -- Spiess Opel
"We were behind the eight ball all weekend because we missed the opening practice session with some mechanical dramas in the car. We made the car better for the races but we were behind the eight ball and struggled. We will be sitting down in the next few weeks to work on the car and go out in the final few races with the aim of winning as often as we can. We want to return to setting the pace like we did at the start of the year."