SCUD RACING GETS CLOSER TO THE FRONT AFTER MASSIVE CLIPSAL FIGHTBACK Scud Racing has rebounded brilliantly from dramas throughout the second round of the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship at the Clipsal 500 Adelaide. The three-car...
SCUD RACING GETS CLOSER TO THE FRONT AFTER MASSIVE CLIPSAL FIGHTBACK
Scud Racing has rebounded brilliantly from dramas throughout the second round of the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship at the Clipsal 500 Adelaide.
The three-car team bounced back from early mechanical dramas in the race weekend, as well as a logistical nightmare to secure parts, to bring three cars home in the outright top ten in the second race in what was a just reward for the hard work.
After the challenging weekend the team brought home drivers inside the top four in all three classes and all three inside the outright race top ten in the second, 12-lap affair.
"The drams we had (on Thursday and Friday) put the team on the back foot, but we rebounded brilliantly," Team owner Bill Maddocks said.
"It was a real relief to get both Mat and Justin back out and running given the problems we had and the lengths we went to get their cars running. I'm really proud of the team and the effort that they have put in -- this is a really 'can-do' team and it's shown that we know what we're doing.
"The team is changing from a family-operation into a professional team and it's taken a massive effort from everyone. We've got nine weeks now between rounds to regroup and continue the plan we have in place into the remainder of the year."
Stuart Kostera -- Scud Racing #35 Dallara F307 Mercedes Benz
West-Australian driver Stuart Kostera continued to get closer to the leading pack in Scud Racing's championship-class F307 Dallara at the Clipsal 500.
After the team took delivery of the car just a day prior to the opening championship round, Kostera's forward progress was evident throughout the Clipsal weekend as the team comes to grips with the latest-spec Formula 3 car.
Kostera qualified eighth for race one but changes between sessions resulted in a strong fifth on the grid for race two.
With passing at a premium, he finished the first race in the position he started but improved considerably in the second to take home a stunning fourth-place finish.
"Given we have had no testing up to this point I think that to be where we are is quite good," Kostera said.
"We were only 0.9s behind in Qualifying two and in the second race I was able to stay with the leading group pretty comfortably, so I think we're making progress. I think with a couple of test days between now and Oran Park we should be on the money."
Mathew Radisich -- Scud Racing #89 Dallara F304 Spiess Opel (National Class)
Youngster Mathew Radisich continued to impress in his maiden full season contesting the Opes Prime National Class for Scud Racing.
The young Victorian-based New Zealander rebounded from a lack of track time during practice on Thursday to score a strong podium finish in his class in Sunday's race two.
Radisich's engine overheated Thursday in practice two, leaving the team to change engines overnight in a marathon effort.
He bounced back to qualify sixth and third, respectively, before posting strong performances throughout both races to come away with a solid points' haul from the weekend.
'The Mouse' now sits fourth in the Opes Prime National Class with 41 points.
"The team have done a good job this weekend to get the engine replaced and get us back out on track," Radisich said.
"I'm quite pleased with our performances. I'm still getting up to speed with the car but I'm happy to have scored a class podium here. Every time we get on track we seem to be getting quicker so we just need to keep working on it and we'll get there."
Justin Tate -- Scud Racing #25 Dallara F301 Spiess Opel (Trophy Class)
16-year-old Justin Tate rebounded brilliantly from negligible track time to win his class and finish inside the outright top ten at the Clipsal 500.
Engine Control Unit (ECU) problems on his #25 car left Tate with just one lap of the demanding 3.2km street circuit under his belt before the opening qualifying session.
With no spare on hand, Scud Racing flew one down from Queensland to fit to the car in time for the first qualifying session to be held on Friday Morning. The effort was rewarded with Tate scoring a class pole position for race one despite his minimal track time.
However the team was to find more dramas as the car retuned to pit lane with bent valves and a damaged engine -- leaving the team with no option but to either withdraw or source a spare.
With a spare located in Sydney, two Scud Racing team members set off to meet the new engine half way between Adelaide and Sydney in order to return it to the track to fit before race one on Saturday. After an 18 hour round trip, the two returned with the new engine at 6:30am Saturday morning, with the team working feverishly to get it installed in time for the first race at midday.
Despite initial fears that the replacement engine was not running correctly, Tate rewarded the team for their dedication by finishing second in class in the first race on Saturday.
He then charged brilliantly through the field in race two to move from 23rd on the grid to 9th outright at the flag -- and a clear win in the Trophy Class.
As a result Tate now sits second in the Trophy Class after two rounds, having logged 45 points.
"It turned out to be a pretty successful weekend in the end," said a relieved Tate after race two.
"The team did everything possible to get the car running and its thanks to them that we were able to get back out on track.
"I was really pleased where we ended up on Sunday. It was great to lap three seconds a lap faster than before in what was a really well set up car -- it felt very good.
"After my lack of laps in practice and qualifying the races were about me getting laps and learning the track. I'm feeling much more comfortable in the car now." He said.
Scud Racing will next be in action at round three of the 2008 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship for the CAMS Gold Star, at Oran Park Raceway between April 25 -- 27.