AUSF3: Oran Park: Series race report

A TALE OF TWO WINNERS AS LEANNE TANDER AND JAMES WINSLOW TAKE THE GLORY - AND WINSLOW THE SERIES LEAD - AT ORAN PARK Two fairytale results have turned around the seasons' of two of the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 championship's finest and...


Two fairytale results have turned around the seasons' of two of the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 championship's finest and fastest at Oran Park raceway today.

Leanne Tander and James Winslow won the two races -- with Winslow assuming the lead of the Australian Drivers Championship in the process -- with each having a long tale of challenges to tell prior to this weekend.

In the past two rounds Leanne Tander has endured two crashes that weren't here doing, a tough Adelaide round where she struggled for speed and a sixth-place position in the championship point standings.

Her win in race one vaulted her into fourth in the standings and right back into contention, in a similar circumstance to her come-from-behind run at last years title fight.

Winslow, meanwhile, was forced to deal with the loss of a sponsor and, subsequently, his drive with Team BRM after the second round of the series in Adelaide. Holding second in the championship he fought hard to seal a one-round deal with Sam Astuti -- driving the British F3 championship winning Dallara F307 from last year.

The deal reaped rewards when Winslow finished second in race one -- the win in race two and the championship lead even more vindication why the British driver is so keen to remain in the series.

Tander scored her third career victory today and continued the recent trend of women succeeding at the top levels of Motorsport; following Danica Patrick's recent success in the IndyCar series and Simona DeSilverstro's win in the Atlantic Series at Long Beach.

"I think the stars are aligning for women in motorsport!" a relieved Tander said after race one.

"It was the best start I think I have ever made and was able to get in front when Neil stalled. From there I only had to hold them off because it's so hard to pass here. In the end I was able to pull a bit of a margin before the safety car came out.

"It's really nice to win here at my home track and bounce back from the dramas we had a Clipsal and here on Friday. Like last year we need to win to get into the championship fight but we did it today. I'm looking forward to Mallala."

James Winslow finished second -- after starting fourth -- in race one whilst Nathan Caratti slipped one position to finish third. Polesitter Neil McFadyen recovered from his stall at the start to finish fifth -- behind a strong Mat Sofi -- in a solid recovery.

Winslow's race two win was partially dictated by another first lap circumstance -- the Astuti driver leaping to the lead when Nathan Caratti ran wide onto the bridge on lap one and lost the lead he gained off the start.

Winslow then fended off both Caratti and a slow-starting polesitter Neil McFadyen in a three car race that lasted 17 laps, hanging on to take his career fifth race win and vault himself into the championship lead for new team Astuti Motorsport.

"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," an elated Winslow said following his win.

"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.

"This is a win for all of those who have helped me in the past. It's a fantastic feeling."

A pressure drive from Nathan Caratti, recovering from his mistake, netted him second and a solid haul of points whilst McFadyen recovered to third after another slow start, losing the championship lead in the process.

Standout Rookie Nick Percat finished fourth for Team BRM whilst Leanne Tander found it difficult to pass and had to settle for fifth place.

Winslow -- who flies home to the UK this week to serve as A1 Team Great Britain's Test and Reserve driver at Brands Hatch next weekend -- now leads the championship by four points (72 -- 68) over Neil McFadyen.

In the Formula 3 National Class Chris Gilmour netted a 'perfect' weekend, two poles, two fastest laps and two class wins scoring him 44 points for the weekend and vaulting him into the class lead.

To make matters better for the Queenslander, Gilmour's main rival Lee Farrell scored zero points after a horror weekend -- where he failed to finish both races.

"It was a great weekend, it's the happiest I've been in a car for years," Gilmour said.

"We came here looking to go well because we've had plenty of laps here over the last two years and we did that. I'm really happy to get two wins and take a good lead in the championship to Mallala next month."

F3 rookies -- and New Zealand based visiting drivers -- Ben Crighton (TanderSport) and John Whelan (Piccola) finished second and third respectively in race one, whilst Ash Samadi (Astuti Motorsport) recovered from a race one crash to finish second in race two, with Crighton third.

In the F3 Trophy Class Andrew Mill scored a perfect weekend to extend his existing class lead, driving the Property Solutions Group F301.

The next round of the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship will be held in conjunction with the Shannons Nationals at Mallala Raceway -- between May 16 -- 18.

-credit: formula3.com.au

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Series F3
Drivers Ash Samadi , Neil McFadyen , James Winslow , Leanne Tander , Nathan Caratti , Chris Gilmour , Ben Crighton , Andrew Mill , John Whelan , Nick Percat , Danica Patrick