F3

AUSF3: Eastern Creek: Series qualifying report

Caratti was in impressive form today and took a pair of pole positions at Eastern Creek. Nathan Caratti has recorded the fastest ever official lap by a Formula 3 car around Eastern Creek raceway en route to taking a pair of convincing pole ...

Caratti was in impressive form today and took a pair of pole positions at Eastern Creek.

Nathan Caratti has recorded the fastest ever official lap by a Formula 3 car around Eastern Creek raceway en route to taking a pair of convincing pole positions ahead of this weekends' sixth round of the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship.

Caratti banked a 1m23.1216 this morning to take his second pole position of the season in commanding fashion, ahead of team-mate James Winslow and Leanne Tander -- the big improver after a frustrating day of practice yesterday.

He repeated the effort in the second session, holding off Winslow by a smaller margin to take the second 1-2 qualifying result for Team BRM in the one day, and his third pole of the year.

The championship leader extended his 18-point margin by a further two points to place him a full race ahead of both Winslow and Tander in the Gold Star standings.

Tander qualified third for both races tomorrow with Liverpool driver Mat Sofi (Total Developments / Transwest Racing) fourth on both occasions.

Caratti said that he was looking forward to starting the first race from pole position -- his earlier season pole at Eastern Creek coming to naught after the race was cancelled due to heavy rain.

"It will be nice to start a race from pole for the first time this year -- I seem to go well at this track because I've got three poles here this year so it's been good to me," Caratti said.

"It's been a good day - the team has done a great job so far and the car is really sorted. The key to the race will be getting a good start and trying to build a margin in the first few laps like we did here earlier this year. If we can do that we'll be looking good.

"I'm also hoping Chris (Alajajian) can come though and take some more points off of Leanne to help our championship," he added.

Winslow qualified second by may prove to be a threat in tomorrows' races after electing to conserve tyre use ahead of tomorrow's two demanding, 14-lap races.

"We probably did seven or eight laps less than Nathan and even more less than Leanne," Winslow said.

"I think we're looking quite good for tomorrow with a couple of front-row starts. The tyre wear was obvious here today with times a second slower in the second session -- so we probably lost a pole position to give us good tyres tomorrow."

The two Team BRM drivers were a solid margin ahead of the chasing pack in qualifying today, with Tander seven and eight-tenths behind in the two sessions, respectively.

The next group of cars were closely bunched, however with Tander, Sofi, Piccola's Justin Tate and the Scud Racing entry of Stuart Kostera closely matched.

Amidst the leading cars for the second time in a row was the National Class pacesetter, Tim Macrow.

After stunning with top-four efforts at Phillip Island, Macrow was again inside the top six today in his R-Tek F3 National Class Dallara after qualifying sixth for race two tomorrow.

Macrow led an impressive Mathew Radisich (#32 TanderSport) in both National Class sessions today with class championship rivals Lee Farrell and Chris Gilmour behind on both occasions.

"It's not going badly so far," Macrow said.

"We improved the car between sessions and got it a bit closer to where we thought it should be. We should be able to run with some of the 307 cars tomorrow."

Andrew Mill edged closer to his first F3 title after scoring double pole positions in the Formula 3 Trophy Class today, scoring 13th for both races but less than half a second from the leading group of drivers behind the wheel of the later-spec F3 National Class Dallaras.

Mill, driving his Property Solutions Group Dallara, can clinch the Trophy Class championship with two solid results tomorrow.

Tomorrow's Shannons Nationals event at Eastern Creek will feature two, 14-lap races that make up round six of the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship for the CAMS Gold Star.

-credit; www.formula3.com.au

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Series F3
Drivers James Winslow , Tim Macrow , Leanne Tander , Stuart Kostera , Nathan Caratti , Chris Gilmour , Mathew Radisich , Andrew Mill , Phillip Island