STRONG RUN CONTINUES FOR MAT SOFI WITH EASTERN CREEK PODIUM Sydney driver Mat Sofi scored his second consecutive Formula 3 podium finish with another consistently strong run in round six of the 2008 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 ...
STRONG RUN CONTINUES FOR MAT SOFI WITH EASTERN CREEK PODIUM
Sydney driver Mat Sofi scored his second consecutive Formula 3 podium finish with another consistently strong run in round six of the 2008 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship at the weekend.
Sofi twice qualified fourth for the two races held at Eastern Creek and proved Sunday that his leap forward in performance at Phillip Island's fifth round was no fluke with a podium run at the Sydney Circuit just 20 minutes from his Liverpool home.
Sofi made a strong start to race one but was shuffled to fifth by a fast-starting Justin Tate.
Elevated to fourth when the race leader was called to pit lane for a drive-through penalty, Sofi, Tate and Nathan Caratti fought hard to stand on the podium in a dice that featured plenty of side-by-side competition.
In a bold move, Sofi eventually worked his way past Tate on the ninth lap and then held off Caratti for the remaining laps to record his second consecutive race podium.
Sofi and Caratti ran close again in the early laps of the second race, though this time it wasn't as clean as the pair made contact in a racing incident at turn two, on lap four.
Dropping to 13th position, the Total Developments driver put his head down and charged though the field in an impressive drive to work his way back to 7th place in just five laps.
He closed on the back of Tate and Stuart Kostera at the end of the race and eventually finished 7th, adding to his solid championship points haul from the weekend.
The Total Developments #2 car has charged up the standings in the past two rounds thanks to Sofi's form and the teams' excellent performance.
In the past two rounds Mat has scored 41 points -- compared to the 47 amassed in the first four rounds of the year.
"It was another good weekend for us, that could have been even better," Mat said following the second race.
"It was great to get on the podium again. We've really unlocked something in the car and I think I'm driving it better than ever. There was a fair gap in pace between everyone and the BRM cars this weekend but we were able to hold Caratti off in race one to get back on the podium.
"Race two was just unfortunate -- we were running close and these things happen sometimes. We salvaged some points and everyone is very optimistic heading into the next race at Phillip Island."
The seventh round of the 2008 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship will be held at the Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit between August 8 -- 10.