F3

AUSF3: Round two Mallala qualifying report

Macrow takes first career pole in thrilling F3 qualifying shootout. Victorian driver Tim Macrow today bucked against the trend of newer model cars setting the pace in the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship this year, by taking his...

Macrow takes first career pole in thrilling F3 qualifying shootout.

Victorian driver Tim Macrow today bucked against the trend of newer model cars setting the pace in the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship this year, by taking his 2001 model Dallara-Speiss to pole position for both of tomorrow's 20 lap races at Mallala in South Australia.

Running on what amounts to a shoestring budget, Macrow set a scintillating 1m03.5641 in the opening qualifying session today, a lap more than four tenths under the existing qualifying lap record at the 2.6km circuit outside of Adelaide. He backed up his performance in the second session to complete a highly successful day for the ex Formula Ford star.

"We really couldn't be happier about the way today has gone," enthused Macrow after taking his first ever Formula 3 pole positions. "We put a heap of hard work into rebuilding the car after the Grand Prix and it hasn't missed a beat since we put it on the track yesterday.

"It was a committed Lap (the race one pole lap) and at first I didn't believe that I had set the time! We are really looking forward to the races tomorrow because we think we have a car that can race strongly tomorrow." He said.

West Australian driver Aaron Caratti had a successful day in the Astuti Competition Dallara F304, ending the day with a pair of front row starts - something set to help him break the deadlock at the top of the F3 points table he currently shares with team mate Chris Alajajian.

"It was a pretty good day overall for us," he said. "Its going to be close at the front but we feel that we have a really good race car so we are looking forward to what should be some very competitive races tomorrow."

Alajajian was 3rd in both sessions, the aggressive youngster ruing a lack of track time during Friday practice after a crash and later a broken axle hindered the second Astuti Dallara's progress yesterday.

"We have been trying a few things on the car today because we missed so much time yesterday," he said. "I will be pushing the car hard to try and get up there in front tomorrow, but it will be very close at the front."

Returning 2003 series champion Michael Caruso had a productive day in the Piccola Scuderia Dallara, setting fourth best time in both sessions. His second session time of 1m04.5687, however, placed the New South Welshman car just two tenths of the race two pole.

Chris Gilmour returned to Formula 3 with a new chassis and a hobble after his Crash at the Australian Grand Prix, but once again proved that he will play a factor in tomorrow's two races by qualifying 6th and 7th respectively. Ricky Occhipinti found speed as well today, putting a tough start to the season behind him with a strong sixth in the second session.

South Australian based Team BRM's expected home track advantage didn't materialise in qualifying, both Tim Slade and Michael Trimble struggling for times in both sessions today. Trimble, who currently sits just one point behind the joint championship leaders, scored a pair of fifth-place starts for the races tomorrow.

Local ace Tim Slade had a forgettable day, breaking in his new car with a technical infringement in Qualifying one sending the car to the back of the field for tomorrow's first race. 8th place was the best the 19-year-old Adelaidian could salvage in the second session, although he is expected to be competitive in the races tomorrow.

16-year-old Kiwi Marc Williams was top in the Kumho Tyres Trophy Class, finding nearly 1.5 seconds from practice yesterday to set a best of 1m05. 9215s to take the Trophy pole ahead of Graeme Holmes and Rod Anderson in Qualifying One.

The second session saw more of the same from the Baby faced Kiwi, topping the Trophy Class times on a slower track again ahead of Holmes and Anderson.

The Second Round of the 2005 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship concludes tomorrow with two, 20-lap races, set to be held at 10:05am and 2:00pm (local time) respectively.

For more information about the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship, please visit our official website at www.formula3.com.au

<pre> Qualifying 1 - Top 5 1. Tim Macrow 1:03.5641 2. Aaron Caratti 1:03.5748 +0.0107 3. Chris Alajajian 1:03.7689 +0.2048 4. Michael Caruso 1:04.1662 +0.6021 5. Michael Trimble 1:04.2090 +0.6449

Qualifying 2 - Top 5 1. Tim Macrow 1:04.2877 2. Aaron Caratti 1:04.3881 +0.1004 3. Chris Alajajian 1:04.4212 +0.1335 4. Michael Caruso 1:04.5687 +0.2810 5. Michael Trimble 1:04.5876 +0.2999

-rc/ausf3-

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Series F3
Drivers Michael Caruso , Chris Alajajian , Marc Williams , Tim Slade , Tim Macrow , Aaron Caratti , Chris Gilmour , Graeme Holmes
Teams Williams