TRIMBLE PACES WILD FRIDAY WET AT PHILLIP ISLAND Series challengers take aim at series' leader Aaron Caratti in key round. Victorian Michael Trimble topped both practice sessions for round six of the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 championship...
TRIMBLE PACES WILD FRIDAY WET AT PHILLIP ISLAND
Series challengers take aim at series' leader Aaron Caratti in key round.
Victorian Michael Trimble topped both practice sessions for round six of the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 championship at a cold and wet Phillip Island raceway today.
The 20-year-old Melbournian lead a strong field of contenders by massive margins in both of today's two sessions, proving to all that if the rain continues over the weekend he will be a hard man to beat as he attempts to claw back a massive deficit to the series leader.
"I'm loving the wet conditions, I will be one driver who doesn't mind if it stays wet this weekend," he smiled. "The car is really good and I'm looking forward to the weekend."
That man in the series lead -- Insight F3's Aaron Caratti -- had a solid day, lapping consistently and conservatively to post fourth and second quick times in the two sessions respectively. Caratti carries a massive 47-point championship lead into today's meeting, the margin so large that the West Australian driver will leave the Island still on top of the charts irrespective of where he places in Sunday's races.
Formula 3 rookie Neil McFadyen made an impressive debut, third fastest in both sessions a strong start to what is the New South Wales based drivers' first attempt at driving a Formula 3 race car. The 2004 Gold Star Champion has adapted quickly to the Formula 3 car despite having just 20 laps of experience under his belt before the weekend.
Protecnica racing's Chris Alajajian -- this weekend working with ex Formula 1 engineer Othmar Welti -- has adapted well to his new engineer, posting second quickest time in the opening session. Alajajian backed up his morning result with a solid fourth in the second session, the new combination clearly gelling quickly in an effort to chase down the series leader.
"Today we just spent the day getting used to the car and the wet conditions," explained Alajajian. "Othmar's knowledge is already paying off and as the weekend progresses we're going to learn more and more."
F3 returnee Daynom Templeman took his Piccola Scuderia Dallara to fifth and sixth place finishes in the two practices, getting back into the groove of Formula 3 competition after sitting on the Open Wheel sidelines since 2001.
Fellow New Zealander Marc Williams took his trophy class Dallara F398 to solid top 8 results, clearly relishing the wet conditions so similar to those regularly seen in the land of the long white crowd.
Lauren Gray, making her third F3 start this weekend for Scud Racing in the Kumho Tyres Trophy competition, was impressive in the wet conditions, a recent test at Winton in similar conditions clearly paying off.
"I'm enjoying the wet even more than the dry," enthused Gray. "The test was really helpful and we are still making some good progress this weekend."
Times -- Session 1
1. Michael Trimble 1m35.1066
2. Chris Alajajian +1.4313
3. Neil McFadyen +1.6095
4. Aaron Caratti +2.0788
5. Daynom Templeman +2.1444
6. Marc Williams +5.4294
7. Chris Gilmour + 7.5590
8. Tim Macrow + 7.0795
9. Matt Sofi + 8.6463
10. Rod Anderson +9.7051
11. Lauren Gray +23.6995
12. Greg Fahey +24.1463
Times -- Session 2
1. Michael Trimble 1m44.9621
2. Aaron Caratti +1.6479
3. Neil McFadyen +1.9688
4. Chris Alajajian +1.7948
5. Tim Macrow +4.0658
6. Daynom Templeman + 5.0241
7. Marc Williams +5.5249
8. Chris Gilmour +8.9765
9. Matt Sofi +11.9304
10. Rod Anderson +22.4320
11. Greg Fahey +23.0211
12. Lauren Gray +23.5692