F3

AUSF3: Oran Park: Series qualifying report

The gap gets closer but McFadyen continues to hold sway at Oran Park Neil McFadyen has continued his unprecedented run of form by scoring pole position for both races that make up tomorrow's third round of the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 ...

The gap gets closer but McFadyen continues to hold sway at Oran Park

Neil McFadyen has continued his unprecedented run of form by scoring pole position for both races that make up tomorrow's third round of the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship at Oran Park.

The gap between the Sydney based Piccola Scuderia Corse driver has shrunk in each session this weekend; however McFadyen did enough in both sessions today to score two commanding pole positions and two extra points towards his campaign to win a second CAMS Gold Star.

McFadyen topped Team BRM driver Nathan Caratti in both sessions, winning pole by .2 in the first session and just .0012s in the second in a much tenser affair.

Whilst pleased with the pole positions -- and the points that come with it -- McFadyen said today's efforts were as much about getting a good car for tomorrow as they were for getting pole.

"We're very happy with how were going but we were really using this to just learn and to get the car right for the race," McFadyen said.

"We know that we have great pace and that we would qualify up there but we were looking for something that would be a consistent base for tomorrow. We're very pleased -- it's what we aim for and it's another two points towards the championship, which is what is so important in F3.

"Now we need to go out and do the job tomorrow. I can drive as comfortably as I like, push when I need to and back off when I need to, which is ideal."

Team BRM driver Nathan Caratti qualified second on two occasions today, setting himself up for a strong run tomorrow after a difficult Clipsal 500 in February that dropped him from 1st in the championship to fourth.

Leanne Tander bounced back from her involvement in yesterday's massive crash to record the third fastest time in qualifying one, backing that up with fourth-best time in the second session.

Tander, in third, was just .2s from pole in first qualifying in a typically close F3 qualifying results sheet.

A strong performance came from Formula 3 rookie Nick Percat, who qualified third for race two this afternoon in his #4 No Fear / Walkinshaw Performance Dallara from Team BRM.

"I'm really happy how it's gone so far," Percat -- currently racing Formula Ford -- said.

"These cars are awesome to drive and I'm pleased with the second session. I could have gone quicker but on a hot lap I had a massive moment -- so it could have been better!"

James Winslow rewarded the hard work put in by Astuti Motorsport to finish the day fourth and fifth, respectively, in the teams' brand new Dallara - last years' British championship winner.

In the Formula 3 National Class a close battle is evolving between the two leaders of the championship and a couple of new competitors on the scene.

In fact the battle for the championship is now so close that Lee Farrell and Chris Gilmour are now tied on points heading into the races tomorrow after Gilmour took a pair of class pole positions today.

The Queenslander beat Farrell to the top spot by just 0.2s in the first session but enforced his position in the second by taking pole -- this time ahead of rookie John Whelan -- by a convincing six-tenths.

"I'm very happy," the self proclaimed, 'Australia's fastest real estate agent' enthused. "The car was very good in that session and I was able to get down and to the times consistently. It's the most confident I've felt in a car for a while so I'm very pleased."

Whelan, New Zealand's Formula Ford Champion, was impressive to qualify second in the Piccola Scuderia #26 car in just his first Formula 3 outing.

Justin Tate -- upon moving up into the National Class for the first time this weekend -- made the step up well by qualifying third in class in the first session. A puncture in the second cost him a chance of further improving his standings in his Scud Racing F301.

It was a good day for Queenslanders' in the class fight -- Andrew Mill surviving a trip to the sand in the first session to expand his class points lead with two pole positions today.

Tomorrow's third round of the 2008 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship for the CAMS Gold Star will be contested over two, 17 -- lap races tomorrow as part of the Shannons Nationals.

-credit: formula3.com.au

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About this article
Series F3
Drivers Neil McFadyen , James Winslow , Leanne Tander , Nathan Caratti , Chris Gilmour , Andrew Mill , John Whelan , Nick Percat
Teams Walkinshaw Racing