YOUNG SOUTH AUSSIE TO JOIN KUMHO TYRES F3 FIELD AT MALLALA. Adelaide fans of the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship for the CAMS Gold Star will have further reason to cheer when a local driver lines up on the grid at Mallala raceway...
YOUNG SOUTH AUSSIE TO JOIN KUMHO TYRES F3 FIELD AT MALLALA.
Adelaide fans of the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship for the CAMS Gold Star will have further reason to cheer when a local driver lines up on the grid at Mallala raceway later this June.
19-year-old Jesse Wakeman, from the Adelaide Hills township of Kersbrook, will make his Formula 3 debut at Mallala (round 4 of the 2007 series) driving his recently purchased Dallara F301 -- Spiess Opel race car, between June 30 -- July 1.
Wakeman's own JR Motorsport team will prepare the car, however experienced outfit R-Tek F3 will provide engineering assistance at the circuit to quicken the ex-Formula Vee racer's learning curve.
Jesse's car -- that will compete in the National Class for the 1999 -- 2001 generation F3 cars -- has plenty of local pedigree having won the Australian F3 Championship in 2004 for Adelaide based Team BRM, with Karl Reindler behind the wheel.
Wakeman's Dallara was then sold to New South Welshman Tim Berryman before returning to Adelaide earlier this year.
The distinctive Blue and Orange Dallara will be based at R-Tek F3s Wingfield base, North of Adelaide.
Whilst it will be his debut in a Formula 3 car, Wakeman has plenty of local experience at the 2.8km Mallala circuit having contested the South Australian State Formula Vee Championship for the last two years.
Jesse said that he and his family had targeted the goal of racing in Formula 3 for some time and grasped the opportunity to purchase a car with such a strong pedigree.
"It was time for a change and for quite a while Dad and I have been looking towards Formula 3 as the next step up in my Career," he said.
"We want to keep the Open Wheel dream alive and Formula 3 seemed the most affordable and ideal place for us to go to follow that goal.
"This car came up at just the right time and for just the right price so we jumped on it. It's a sweet car and I think that it will be very good for us."
Wakeman recently completed his first test day behind the wheel of his new ride and said that -- despite torrentially wet weather conditions -- the day was a success.
"We got some dry laps in at the start of the day which gave me a feel for the car and just what it's capable of," he explained.
"After that I got plenty of wet weather experience. The car was awesome to drive, just fantastic. It's going to be a big step forward for me but having now driven the car I just can't wait to get out there and race."
With the R-Tek team supporting Jesse's campaign to become his state's next biggest thing in racing, championship contender Mat Sofi, from Sydney -- who drives a Honda-powered 2004 Dallara for the team - will be on hand to support Wakeman throughout his first steps into top level Open Wheel racing. Sofi recently posted his best ever F3 performances at Phillip Island and is expected to be a contender for outright race wins at Mallala.
"Having Mat there to help us will be great," Wakeman said.
"It's nice to have someone who has a lot of experience in these cars and this series to draw information from. He has been a big help so far."
The fourth round of the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship will be contested at Mallala raceway between June 30 and July 1 as part of the Shannons National Motor Racing Championships.
Victorian driver Tim Macrow currently leads the chase for the prestigious Gold Star award by just eight points over British driver Charlie Hollings, with Leanne Tander -- the first ever female race winner of an Australian Drivers Championship race -- a further three points back in third.
16 drivers from four states of Australia, as well as visitors from Great Britain and Italy will line up at Mallala at the series' half-way point.