CHAMPIONSHIP CHANGED AS MACROW CLOSES IN AT THE ISLAND THE ENTIRE complexion of the 2009 Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship changed today within the space of about ten seconds. Heading into the Phillip Island Grand Prix circuits' ...
CHAMPIONSHIP CHANGED AS MACROW CLOSES IN AT THE ISLAND
THE ENTIRE complexion of the 2009 Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship changed today within the space of about ten seconds.
Heading into the Phillip Island Grand Prix circuits' Southern loop on the first lap of race two, Mat Sofi was hit from behind by championship leader Joey Foster - a winner earlier in the day - in a crash that put the Brit out of the race and left Sofi at the back of the field, one lap behind.
With Foster out, up front Scud Racing driver Tim Macrow streaked to his second win of the season and scythed the championship lead in half as the fight for the Gold Star approaches its half way point.
Macrow had earlier finished a safe second in a wet opening race and, coupled with two bonus points for qualifying and the race two quickest lap, now sits just 18 points as the series takes a five-week break before round four at Winton.
Macrow's ninth win lifted him to fifth on the all time winners list for Australian Formula 3, and his two podiums see him leave Phillip Island with more top three race results than any other driver.
"I have to say that I wasn't hugely disappointed when I saw Joey's car in the sand trap after one lap of race two," Macrow joked.
"The car was very good this weekend. The team has done a great job and in the dry the car was sensational. We made a wrong call in the wet but made up for that in the dry race.
"It's been a really, really good weekend overall and we've closed the championship gap. We have made a step forward with the car and it's getting better and better and more suited to my driving style.
"This weekend has put us in a very good place for Winton in June."
Foster was pleased with his dominating, 20-second race one victory in the rain but said that race two was a simple misjudgement, though his handy championship buffer prior to the round has softened the blow to his series' lead.
"The car was fantastic in race one and it was good to get the win - we needed those points with what happened in race two but we still have a good lead so I'm looking forward to Winton."
Foster took the lead during the first lap of race one after making a slow start and after that he was never headed, dominating the race seemingly at ease to record a crushing win. Race two was much more competitive, with Tim shaded by a pair of TanderSport cars after the opening lap dramas eliminated Sofi and Foster from the running.
As such, Ben Crighton scored his career-best result with second in race two and finished just two seconds behind Macrow, whilst AmPro Tools driver Mat Sofi was the third-placed championship car in both races to remain well in contention with the top two contenders in the standings.
In the F3 National Class Leanne Tander took a perfect score away from her return weekend to the category by winning her class in both races, scoring two pole positions and two fastest laps. Tom Tweedie consolidated his class lead by finishing second in race two.
The F3 Australian Drivers' championship now takes a five-week break before the series' next round to be held at Winton, between June 26 to 28.