ASTUTI MOTORSPORT ON TOP OF THE WORLD AFTER STUNNING WINSLOW WIN The rollercoaster ride that is Formula 3 racing ended on the top of the world for Astuti Motorsport at the weekend. The team, with new driver James Winslow, won the second race...
ASTUTI MOTORSPORT ON TOP OF THE WORLD AFTER STUNNING WINSLOW WIN
The rollercoaster ride that is Formula 3 racing ended on the top of the world for Astuti Motorsport at the weekend.
The team, with new driver James Winslow, won the second race in round three of the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship, held at Oran Park at the weekend, on the debut of the teams' brand-new Dallara F307 Chassis / Renault engine combination.
The #11 Shell Racing Solutions Dallara leaped into the race lead on the first lap of race two and, despite heavy pressure from behind all race long, held out to record a stunning win.
It was a satisfying and emotional result for the team after only completing the car on the morning of the Oran Park test two weeks ago, the result pushing Winslow into the championship lead after three of eight scheduled rounds.
The win with Astuti's Renault power is believed to be the first for that engine in an F307 chassis anywhere in the world. Winslow topped a field packed with both Mercedes Benz and Mugen Honda powered cars, Formula 3s dominant power source worldwide.
It was also another race win for the chassis in question -- the same car that won the British F3 championship last year for Hitech racing and Marko Asmer.
Winslow earlier finished second in race one -- after starting fourth -- to score more points than anyone over the weekend to cap off a remarkable return to the outright level of competition for Melbourne-based Astuti Motorsport.
It was the first time in the teams' current incarnation that Astuti Motorsport had run three cars and the performances over the weekend indicated the depth of talent exiting within the team.
The team also had a strong run with new driver Ash Samadi in the National Class, rebounding from a hefty shunt in race one to record second in class, in race two.
Samadi, who had qualified strongly in the #24 Shell Racing Solutions Dallara F304 -- Renault, made hefty contact with the wall exiting the famed Oran Park dogleg during race one, removing the right-front corner suspension and front wing from the car.
In a race against time, the Astuti Motorsport crew worked flat out between races to repair the car to return it to the circuit where Samadi posted an excellent performance to score second in class.
Ray Chamberlain had a tough weekend as he continued his initiation to Formula 3 racing, but continued to score championship-class points in his #23 Dallara F304 Renault.
Team owner Sam Astuti said that the weekend was a fantastic result for many weeks of dedicated hard work.
"I can't believe it--. But I do believe it!" he said.
"I talked myself into the fact that lour team could do it. We've been working day and night and once I knew that James Winslow could come across and drive this round with us I knew it was possible. The team, my guys, have been working around the clock.
"The car, honestly, is not yet 100%," he also warned. "We've only had one test day so there is a lot more to come. I'm just so happy with the way that the weekend has turned out. I knew it all along -- but many said that It wouldn't work and that I would fail -- so I'm happy to have proved them wrong!"
Astuti Motorsport will be in action during round four of the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship at Mallala Raceway, an hour outside of Adelaide, between May 16 -- 18.
James Winslow, #11 Shell Racing Solutions Dallara F307 Renault Sodemo
"It's been a hard month, I'm really glad to get on the track because I didn't know if I would be able to run here or not.
"We did the deal with Astuti to get on the circuit and it has paid off. I'm hoping we can continue -- I'm now leading the championship so hopefully we can get some new backers on the car to continue the year and the championship assault. It's fantastic for Sam because his team has put in a lot of work to make this happen. I'm really pleased for him.
"This is a win for all of those who have helped me in the past. It's a fantastic feeling."
Ash Samadi, #24 (National Class) Shell Racing Solutions Dallara F304 Renault Sodemo
"I'm really happy -- I didn't think that the guys were going to be able to get it back on the track but they did and it was set up in a way that I could compete and in the end I got a great result, so I am really very pleased.
"These cars are sensational. The difference between these and the GT Cars I have been driving are chalk and cheese. There is a lot more for me to learn with the aerodynamics and how the cars behave but there is nothing like them for sheer driving pleasure.
"I'll be back, I had a great time!"
Ray Chamberlain, #23 Astuti Motorsport Dallara F304 Renault Sodemo
"I knew it was going to be tough -- it's been a very difficult weekend. We did the test day but had problems so I didn't get as many laps as possible. I'm looking forward to Mallala because I raced there four times last year in the Formula Vee so I have some experience there.
I'm just so pleased for Sam and the team. They have worked very, very hard and put the effort in to get the job done so it's fantastic for them all."