FARRELL ALL THE WAY TO COMMANDING OPES PRIME NATIONAL CLASS WIN AT CLIPSAL Lee Farrell has continued his love affair with the 3.2 kilometres of tarmac that make up the world-famous Adelaide street circuit after storming to an Opes Prime National...
FARRELL ALL THE WAY TO COMMANDING OPES PRIME NATIONAL CLASS WIN AT CLIPSAL
Lee Farrell has continued his love affair with the 3.2 kilometres of tarmac that make up the world-famous Adelaide street circuit after storming to an Opes Prime National Class victory in the opening race of this weekend's second 2008 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship.
Though not fastest in practice, Farrell dominated qualifying yesterday and today led his class lights-to-flag to record his second class win from two races this year, and extend his championship points lead to 18.
Farrell started from pole and, despite a safety car intervention mid race, held on to win ahead of a resurgent Daniel Schulz (Astuti Motorsport F304 -- Renault) and Chris Gilmour.
Farrell said that the enjoyment of racing on Adelaide's streets made the win even sweeter.
"It's brilliant, I'm really happy the weekend is going to plan," The 20-year-old Melbourne-based Irishman said.
"I got an o.k. start -- wouldn't say it's the best I have ever had -- but I kept the lead and had a bit of pressure from Chris Gilmour for most of the race -- he was pretty close most of the way through which kept it interesting.
"After the safety car I was able to get a break, and with Daniel (Schulz) getting past Chris at the hairpin I had a good margin to get to the flag and win. It's been fantastic here so far, I'm really enjoying it. The track is amazing to drive and it's been a great weekend so far and hopefully we can keep the momentum up." He said.
Schulz recorded his best finish of the season thanks to a pass with two laps to go, following the safety car period, a strong second in class elevating him to third in the championship with one race of round two remaining.
Gilmour's third was a strong rebound from a persistent fuel pressure problem his Gilmour Racing team has been experiencing all weekend, second in the championship and the race for either $40,000 or a fully-funded Opes Prime Championship Class drive in 2009 -- the prizes for this years National Class champion.
Scud Racing's Mathew Radisich was able to finish fourth -- taking advantage of an incident by R-Tek F3 driver Chris Reindler two laps from home.
Reindler, Local driver Troy Woodger and several other drivers were involved in an incident at turn one on the eighth lap, dropping down the order from the class top five.
South Australian Samantha Reid was another to come unstuck withy a few laps to go, spinning her TanderSport car at the final corner after being caught up in the earlier incident.
In the Formula 3 Trophy Class, Andrew Mill recorded his second win of the season -- and 13th outright -- but it was a stunning comeback performance from Scud Racing's Justin Tate which was the classes' leading story.
The 16 year-old Melbournian's car had an engine failure on Saturday and his team went to extreme lengths -- driving 18 hours to pick a replacement engine -- to get the car back on track.
Tate rewarded the team by driving to second position in class, a just reward for the hard work.
Local Jesse Wakeman recovered from earlier dramas to finish third in class.
Race 1 Results -- Opes Prime National Class
1. Lee Farrell (Opes Prime Team BRM) -- 9th outright
2. Daniel Schulz (Astuti Motorsport) -- 10th outright
3. Chris Gilmour (Gilmour Racing) -- 11th outright
4. Mathew Radisich (Scud Racing) -- 12th outright
5. Graeme Holmes (GKH Powdercoating) -- 15th outright.
Opes Prime National Class points -- after Race 1, Round 2
1. Lee Farrell 44
2. Chris Gilmour 28
3. Daniel Schulz 25
4. Mathew Radisich 22
5. Chris Reindler 17