SOFI ON A ROLL WITH TWO MORE PODIUMS AND A JUMP IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS MAT SOFI has now scored four podiums from the past five races as the Liverpool, Sydney driver continues his charge to the top of the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3...
SOFI ON A ROLL WITH TWO MORE PODIUMS AND A JUMP IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
MAT SOFI has now scored four podiums from the past five races as the Liverpool, Sydney driver continues his charge to the top of the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship after a great weekend at Phillip Island.
At the scene of his career first F3 podium in June this year, Sofi put in two strong drives in his Astuti Motorsport #2 Transwest / Total Developments Dallara F307 Mugen Honda entry to score another pair of third-placed results on Australia's fastest racetrack.
Sofi qualified fifth for both races but remained confident of two strong races after showing plenty of race pace this season.
Mat made a strong start to race one and was involved in a hefty scrap for fourth, fifth and sixth with rivals Justin Tate and Stuart Kostera, swapping positions with the two before getting the advantage with a few laps to go.
When the leader ran off the track on the final lap Sofi took further advantage and moved into third.
Race two saw an amazing dice for the minors with Sofi in the thick of the action - eventually coming out in front by the smallest of margins.
In an hectic four car fight, Sofi headed off Stuart Kostera, Justin Tate and John Magro to the line by just .01s with the three cars covered by an amazing .18s at the end. It was Sofi's fifth career podium finish and a great reward for the Astuti team after Sofi joined them just days prior to the round.
The strong results also elevated Mat to fourth in the championship with 112 points with one round - two races - to go.
"The Astuti team did a tremendous job and in Race one it was probably the best car I've ever driven in those conditions," Sofi said.
"We had the quickest lap until just before the end of the race so that was really promising. Race two was just incredible and I gave it everything I had on the last lap to try and get by and in the end we got there by the skin of our teeth.
"I was really pleased with the weekend. I think the experience I have gained has helped - a year ago I would have probably ended off in the wall with everyone else but I kept it on the Island, literally, and had a great weekend."
Sofi added that the relationship with Astuti Motorsport was bearing fruit - and quickly.
"I can't say enough about Sam (Astuti) and the boys - they only had the car for a week and did an awesome job. They have identified some changes that they will make before the next round and we'll go to Tassie very confident." He said.
The next round of the championship will be held at Symmons Plains raceway and will feature the longest race of the season - the 30-lap F3 SuperPrix - as the season ending showcase.
Symmons Plains' season finale' will be held between September 19 - 21.