F3

AUSF3: Phillip Island Friday report

Leanne Tander has once again gone fastest on Friday in practice for a round of the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship for the CAMS Gold Star -- topping today's two practice sessions at the Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit in ...

Leanne Tander has once again gone fastest on Friday in practice for a round of the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship for the CAMS Gold Star -- topping today's two practice sessions at the Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit in Victoria.

Tander took her #42 Fleetcare TanderSport Dallara to the fastest time of the day in practice one -- lapping in 1m27.9915s to lead the field by a considerable four-tenths of a second.

In practice two she was again fastest, this time leading the field by a little under two tenths of a second.

It marks the fourth time in the six practice sessions this season that Tander's distinctive black and red Dallara has topped the Friday time sheets -- and this time she hopes to convert her longstanding Friday pace into Saturday and Sunday results.

"The car is brilliant, I'm very happy." Leanne said.

"We were playing with some different things today that we may or may not use this weekend but our base package is very good. The car is quick and we have a good setup for the weekend ahead.

"I'm expecting it to be very close this weekend -- we don't know today what the others are doing as far as Tyres go so it's likely that it will close up -- but I don't care how much we are in front by, as long as we stay there!"

The second quickest time today was set by the Team Opes Prime Dallara F304 of British driver James Winslow.

After a tough start to the season, Winslow's team elected to change damper suppliers prior to the round and the new suspension package seems to have paid dividends -- the '06 Asian F3 champion rocketing up the time sheets with an opportunity to finally show his true pace.

"Our championship starts here," a charged up Winslow said this afternoon.

"What we have done has changed the car completely and given me a lot of confidence. We are basically starting from scratch because we don't have any data with these dampers but the car felt good instantly.

"I'm not going to worry about the championship from now on in -- I'm going to aim to win every race from now on in!" he said.

After a quiet weekend at Oran Park recently, reigning champions -- and Phillip Island race winners -- Team BRM looked quietly impressive today thanks to strong performances from both Italian Macro Mapelli and Perth's Stuart Kostera.

Mapelli was second fastest in practice one whilst Kostera bounced back from a tough opening session to lap just three tenths from the benchmark time in practice two.

Rival two-car outfit Astuti Motorsport struggled today, Oran Park double winner Charlie Hollings managing only the seventh fastest time in each session today -- although less than a second from the ultimate pace.

Returning driver Ricky Occhipinti benefited from the use of new Tyres today to jump to third overall in the opening practice session.

The top eight cars in the outright group were covered by less than a second in both sessions today with times expected to further tumble -- and group up closer -- when everyone takes new Kumho rubber for Qualifying tomorrow.

In the Kumho Tyres National Class a close three-way fight between Daniel Schulz, Chris Barry and local lass Lauren Gray is looming to be a highlight of the weekend with the three all closely matched today.

Schulz lead Barry in practice one whilst the order was reversed in the second session -- Gray just behind in both sessions.

Graeme Holmes returned to his first championship start of the season in stunning fashion today by dominating the Trophy Class results by a number of seconds over long-time rival Rod Anderson.

-credit: ausf3

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Series F3
Drivers James Winslow , Leanne Tander , Stuart Kostera , Graeme Holmes , Lauren Gray , Charlie Hollings , Phillip Island