TWELVE THOUSAND KILOMETRES FOR ONE TENTH - HOLLINGS NARROWLY SCORES DOUBLE AT ORAN PARK. It may be nearly twelve thousand kilometres between his native Yorkshire and Sydney's Oran Park Raceway but Astuti Motorsport driver Charlie Hollings needed...
TWELVE THOUSAND KILOMETRES FOR ONE TENTH - HOLLINGS NARROWLY SCORES DOUBLE AT ORAN PARK.
It may be nearly twelve thousand kilometres between his native Yorkshire and Sydney's Oran Park Raceway but Astuti Motorsport driver Charlie Hollings needed just five kilometres -- two laps -- today to lock away a pair of pole positions for the second round of the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship.
Hollings will start from the front in both of tomorrow's two races after narrowly topping today's two sessions in warm and hazy conditions in Sydney.
Hollings is trading time between Australia and Yorkshire in the UK this season as he has his first taste of racing with the Melbourne-based Astuti team -- came under intense pressure from both Leanne Tander and Tim Macrow today and ended up fastest by less than one-tenth in each session.
His best lap of 1m04.1941s in session one was just .053s faster than Tander, whilst his 1m04.9662s was similarly just .071 quicker than Macrow in the second session.
"I said coming into the weekend that I wanted two pole positions and two wins, and I'm very pleased with today's performance," said Hollings this afternoon.
"I really want to keep the momentum up because it's tough and certainly very competitive here.
"A point for pole is good and we've had three out of four and that's what it might come down to at the end of the year." He said.
Tander and Macrow both had indifferent days, narrowly being pipped for pole in each session today.
Championship leader Macrow was unable to break the deadlock between himself and Chris Alajajian today but will carry proven form at the circuit into tomorrow's two, 15-lap races.
"It's closer, that's the main thing," Macrow said of his Cooltemp Racing Dallara.
"We aren't quite there but there's nothing in it on the times. I'm pretty confident that the car will be where it needs to be in the races tomorrow."
Tander, too, noted that her car wasn't exactly where it needed to be.
"I'm not unhappy about starting on the first row in race one, because it's the racing line where the rubber is," she explained.
"There is nothing wrong with the car. We're less than two tenths off the pace but we had the car we had and I couldn't quite get the most out of it."
Italian Marco Mapelli was twice fourth today, continuing his recent run of good form that was clear for the world to see at the recent Grand Prix in Melbourne.
Mapelli headed his Team BRM team-mate Stuart Kostera in qualifying one and team Opes Prime driver James Winslow in qualifying two.
Winslow continued to climb close to the front of the field this weekend after a troubled start to the season and will look to utilise some of his Asian Formula 3 Championship-winning race craft to work his way into a solid finish this weekend.
"It's frustrating, to be where we are," said Winslow.
"It's so painful because we really don't know where the time is missing. We found two seconds in the second session today and made some progress so it's looking better for tomorrow. We need a trouble free weekend to score some points."
In the Kumho Tyres National Class Chris Barry added two points to his commanding championship lead by virtue of his two pole positions today -- the Data #3 driver continually improving in his Dallara F301.
Lauren Gray was second each time out in the National Class and will look to place pressure on Barry tomorrow.