FARRELL STORMS TO OPES PRIME F3 NATIONAL CLASS WIN AT EASTERN CREEK Lee Farrell has come away with his first Australian Formula 3 Opes Prime National Class win, taking victory in the only race of the day at Eastern Creek after the second race...
FARRELL STORMS TO OPES PRIME F3 NATIONAL CLASS WIN AT EASTERN CREEK
Lee Farrell has come away with his first Australian Formula 3 Opes Prime National Class win, taking victory in the only race of the day at Eastern Creek after the second race was cancelled due to extreme weather.
Farrell began the race second in class, and after dropping down to third later he steered his Opes Prime Team BRM Dallara F304 Opel Spiess car to victory.
"After I got into the lead I didn't ever really feel threatened so I was able to take it easy and it was comfortable in the end," Farrell enthused.
The start of the race didn't bode well for the Irishman, initially getting passed by Chris Gilmour and dropping him to third.
However, Farrell then passed Chris Reindler for second, and on lap five he passed Gilmour for the lead and never looked back.
"It just feels really good to come to the first race of the year and come away with the win!" he said.
Chris Gilmour began in his usual style, having an excellent getaway off the line to pass a couple of the Kumho Tyres Championship Class cars, and running as high as fifth overall.
Gilmour built up a small gap against his Opes Prime National Class rivals, but he was then was struck with a leaking fuel cell with scorching fuel spilling around his seat.
"I could feel it burning through my race suit and it became really uncomfortable and difficult to concentrate on the race because I was trying to lift myself up over the seat to get away from the fuel," Gilmour explained.
The fuel problem was caused by a loose bolt on the fuel cell, which hadn't been correctly tightened after a fuel pressure problem in qualifying yesterday.
Third position fell to Chris Reindler in his TanderSport Dallara F304 Opel Spiess after starting the race in pole position.
Reindler got slipstreamed on the second lap by Gilmour, and then was struck by a seatbelt problem that made it almost impossible for him to drive.
"I got a really good start, which I was extremely happy with, considering it was my first start in Formula 3," Reindler said.
"Overall I'm really happy. It was a really positive weekend for us and I'm really pleased with what I learned about the car," he said.
Youngster Mathew Radisich was pleased with coming fourth in his Scud Racing Dallara F304 Spiess Opel, while Daniel Schulz finished in fifth with James Crozier completing the Opes Prime National Class top six.
The second scheduled race of the day was cancelled in the afternoon after extreme weather halted proceedings, following a start behind the safety car.
With zero visibility for the drivers in their exposed openwheel cockpits, there was no option but to cancel the race.
The Trophy Class was won by Andrew Mill, with Jesse Wakeman doing well to finish in second, and John Boothman took third place.
The Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship was won by Nathan Caratti -- who took the outright race victory, and he was followed by Opes Prime Team BRM team-mate James Winslow, with Leanne Tander finishing in third.
Race 1 - National Top 5
1. Lee Farrell
2. Chris Gilmour
3. Chris Reindler
4. Mathew Radisich
5. Daniel Schulz
Championship Class: 1. Nathan Caratti
Trophy Class: 1. Andrew Mill