WEATHER MAKES FRIDAY F3 PRACTICE RESULTS INCONCLUSIVE AT PHILLIP ISLAND CHANGING weather conditions, occasional rain and freezing temperatures have made Friday's opening practice results for round five of the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 ...
WEATHER MAKES FRIDAY F3 PRACTICE RESULTS INCONCLUSIVE AT PHILLIP ISLAND
CHANGING weather conditions, occasional rain and freezing temperatures have made Friday's opening practice results for round five of the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship for the CAMS Gold Star a poor form guide for the weekend ahead.
A wet / dry first session and a mid-session shower in the second made both 30-minute practices a lottery today and left the teams with no real indication of what the ultimate pace is likely to be this weekend.
It means that the crystal ball for results-picking also remains as cloudy as the Phillip Island skies that covered the track today.
The 20-car field took to the track for practice one in wet conditions only for the rain to hold off and a dry line emerge -- most teams switching to slick Kumho rubber mid way though the session.
The end of first practice was more akin to a qualifying shootout -- times rapidly dropping as the circuit dried. James Winslow -- now back in a Team BRM Dallara after securing last-minute backing for this weekend -- topping the charts ahead of Nathan Caratti (Team BRM) and Neil McFadyen (Piccola Scuderia).
Leanne Tander (TanderSport) was fourth ahead of an impressive John Magro -- who took his Rockstar energy Team BRM Dallara to fifth.
17-year-old Justin Tate, from Nilma North in Melbourne, topped the National Class ahead of class leader Chris Gilmour and Lee Farrell.
Practice two went the opposite way of the first one -- beginning dry but turning wet after a shower half way though.
Though some teams went to wet rubber the times were set early in the session and were as much as two seconds slower than in practice one; Tander topping McFadyen, Winslow, Kostera and National class leader Tate in fifth.
Reigning Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Champion Tim Macrow experienced an up and down return to the series, setting 10th and 6th -- fastest times in the two sessions, respectively, though he did endure a broken driveshaft in the first session.
Tomorrow will witness cars take to the track for a pair of 20-minute qualifying sessions to set the grid for the two races to be held on Sunday, at Phillip Islands' first Shannons Nationals round of the year.
Qualifying has been a competitive affair this season with times typically tight, though Neil McFadyen (four poles) leads the field this year. Tander (2) and Caratti (1) have also been competitive.
Nathan Caratti (93 points) leads Neil McFadyen (89), James Winslow (86) and Leanne Tander (85) in the race for the 2008 Australian Drivers' Championship.
In the F3 National Class Chris Gilmour leads Lee Farrell by 41 points, whilst Andrew Mill has a massive 69 point lead in the F3 trophy.