Caruso and Caratti share the spoils after dramatic day at Mallala. Aaron Caratti and Michael Caruso have shared the spoils in the second round of the 2005 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship, held at Mallala Raceway in South...
Caruso and Caratti share the spoils after dramatic day at Mallala.
Aaron Caratti and Michael Caruso have shared the spoils in the second round of the 2005 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship, held at Mallala Raceway in South Australia this weekend.
Both drivers scored a win apiece after a combative day's racing at the 2.6km circuit, which also saw a new lap record established by Astuti Competion driver Chris Alajajian who had an incident filled -- but competitive - weekend.
2003 series champion Michael Caruso scored a win in the opening 20-lap race, making a brilliant start from the second row to run second into the opening turn. The Piccola Scuderia driver caught and passed pole sitter Tim Macrow at the end of the opening lap after surviving a brief coming together in the turn 7 hair pin. It was all plain sailing after that for Caruso, who scored a strong eight second victory.
"The opening race today was fantastic," enthused Caruso. "The car was fantastic and it's a testament to the Piccola Scuderia team for the way they have prepared the car. We struggled with some engine dramas in race two, but brought it home safely to finish second."
After qualifying a strong second for the race, West Australian driver Aaron Caratti only managed a few meters in the opening event, snapping a drive shaft when attempting to launch the car at the start. Chris Alajajian had a combative race, working his way from fourth into second by the 15-lap mark. A spin at turn 3, however, dropped him right back to the chasing back which included Michael Trimble and a struggling Macrow.
Alajajian was determined to have re joined the track in an unsafe manner following the incident, and was given a 10 second penalty after the race that dropped him behind Trimble and Macrow in the final race order. Chris Gilmour was fifth, ahead of Ricky Occhipinti and a struggling Tim Slade who was searching for pace in his brand new Dallara F304.
Tim Macrow looked to have the second race shot to pieces when race two started, extending a huge margin after just two laps. A black flag, however, (shown to the Victorian driver after he resumed his original grid spot after stalling on the formation lap) forced him to battle in the mid field for the remainder of the race.
Macrow's penalty handed the lead to Astuti driver Aaron Caratti -- a lead he wouldn't relinquish for the remainder of the 20 laps despite a heated challenge by team mate Alajajian. The pair ran nose to tail for a majority of the race, Alajajian even setting a new lap record in his pursuit of Caratti. A spin at the northern hairpin, however, forced the aggressive youngster to concede second to Michael Caruso.
Michael Trimble capped off a strong weekend for his team BRM Dallara in fourth place, ahead of Chris Gilmour and a consistent Ricky Occhipinti. Macrow, who eventually recovered for seventh after a race long battle in the mid field, lead home Tim Slade after 20 tough laps.
Marc Williams took his first ever wins in the Kumho Tyres Australian F3 Trophy Class this weekend, showing some much-improved form after a trying start to the year. Graeme Holmes had a consistent weekend and scored good points for second, whilst Rod Anderson recovered from a mechanical DNF in race one to round out the Trophy Competition in 3rd place in race 2.
Chris Alajajian and Michael Trimble now share the lead in the 2005 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 championship point score after two of eight rounds, both drivers on 57 points.
The next round of the championship will be held at Victoria's Phillip Island Raceway on May 21 -- 22.
For more information about the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship, please visit our official website at www.formula3.com.au
<pre> RACE 1 -- TOP 5 1. Michael Caruso Piccola Scuderia 2. Michael Trimble Team BRM 3. Tim Macrow Tim Macrow Racing 4. Chris Alajajian Astuti Competition 5. Chris Gilmour Gilmour Racing
RACE 2 -- TOP 5 1. Aaron Caratti Astuti Competition 2. Michael Caruso Piccola Scuderia 3. Chris Alajajian Astuti Competion 4. Michael Trimble Team BRM 5. Chris Gilmour Gilmour Racing
CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS -- KUMHO TYRES AUSTRALIAN FORMULA 3 CHAMPIONSHIP (AFTER 2 OF 8 ROUNDS) 1. Chris Alajajian 57 2. Michael Trimble 57 3. Aaron Caratti 53 4. Michael Caruso 43 5. Chris Gilmour 32