TWEEDIE PASSES TOUGHEST TEST AT THE ISLAND TOM TWEEDIE has come though perhaps the sternest test of his career in the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship with enough new knowledge to take his racing to another level. With the Phillip ...
TWEEDIE PASSES TOUGHEST TEST AT THE ISLAND
TOM TWEEDIE has come though perhaps the sternest test of his career in the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship with enough new knowledge to take his racing to another level.
With the Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit the most challenging test for Formula 3 drivers in Australia, Tweedie managed to extend his National Class points lead and again mix it with the leading cars - and a former championship contender - whilst all the time learning more about the cars and their setup.
Tom qualified his Battery World-supported Dallara F304-Renault less than half a second outside of former outright contender Leanne Tander's similar F304 Dallara after just one day of testing and one of practice at the 4.46km Victorian track.
In race one a gamble to utilise an older set of wet tyres - anticipating a drying race track - failed to pay off when more rain came causing Tom to slip off the circuit at turn four, on lap eight, out of the race.
The second race went substantially better with Tom finishing second in his class and fourth outright, substantially gapping the remainder of the field and keeping in touch with the race leaders.
The upshot was not only an additional 15 points to his National Class points' lead, but a wealth of new setup information and knowledge that he can use for multiple conditions in future championship rounds.
"I think if I can take what we learned this weekend from the different car setups and apply parts of that to Winton we should put up another strong performance," 20-year-old Tweedie said.
"This weekend at Phillip Island would have to be one of the biggest learning curves we've had all season. Full credit has to go to the team as the Wednesday test day was very strong as we tried a lot of different setups while I was dialling myself into the track - that was a great help going into the weekend.
"Qualifying just 0.5 and 0.3 tenths off current lap record holder Leanne Tander in Q1 and Q2 was excellent.
"In race 1 we took a bit of a gamble and put a very old set of wet tyres on that were a bit worn and harder hoping the track would dry out but unfortunately the track was considerably wetter and with the lack of grip I came off at turn 4 and bogged the car," he explained of his race one incident.
"Finishing 4th overall in race 2 was a far more pleasing result, gained ground after a turn two, lap one crash and then I just had to keep my head down and try put up a challenge to the leading cars."
Tweedie now leads the National Class by 26 points as the series heads to Winton for the fourth rounds of the championship, to be held on June 26, 27 and 28.
Tom Tweedie would like to thank supporters including Battery World, Tizzana Vineyards, the Team Tom Membership base and everyone else who has provided support throughout the 2009 championship.