HIGH-FLYERS OF AUSTRALIAN FORMULA 3 READY FOR CLIPSAL 500 RETURN AFTER A HIGH-FLYING, lap record busting and showy return to the streets of Adelaide, the Formula 3 Australian Drivers championship will return to the Clipsal 500 between March 19 -...
HIGH-FLYERS OF AUSTRALIAN FORMULA 3 READY FOR CLIPSAL 500 RETURN
AFTER A HIGH-FLYING, lap record busting and showy return to the streets of Adelaide, the Formula 3 Australian Drivers championship will return to the Clipsal 500 between March 19 - 22, 2009 - and Australia's best young open wheel talent can't wait.
A big grid of 24 cars put on one hell of a show in 2008 with two action packed races that provided plenty of thrills and spills for the massive crowd on hand to witness the return of ‘wings and slicks' racing to the former home of the Australian Grand Prix.
Highlights - literally - included 16-year-old Kiwi sensation Earl Bamber (now racing in the GP2 series) flying two meters above the Adelaide tarmac after hitting the turn one chicane kerb, before promptly going out to reset the four-year old outright track record to an astounding 1m18.6011s.
The introduction in 2007 of new chassis and engines to the Australian Formula 3 Championship further spiced up the racing with plenty of overtaking and on-track action throughout the weekend as the young racing stars of the future angled to get in the limelight.
Formula 3s presence at the Clipsal 500 Adelaide also generated international media coverage of the event and series thanks to the participation of several overseas drivers, including race winner Ben Clucas and eventual 2008 series champion James Winslow, both from the UK.
Local talents Leanne Tander, Nathan Caratti and 21-year old Jesse Wakeman, from Kersbrook in the Adelaide hills, also gathered plenty of attention, though only one is likely to return to the F3 races at Clipsal in 2009.
Wakeman posted a stunning performance in the final round of the 2008 championship to race - and beat - cars in a higher class and the youngster, who spends his week as a sign writer, has big goals ahead of Clipsal 2009.
"It was absolutely the highlight of my season, even though the results weren't what we were after," Wakeman said.
"To have the chance to race in front of so many people from my home town, and a heap of my family, friends and workmates was a blast. It's something that I will remember for a long time and I can't wait to be back.
"This year (2008) I had only three or four F3 races under my belt so it was very much a learning experience. Now I have a complete season of knowledge and that is sure to help my performance next year.
"Nothing would be better than to have the chance to race for the win on the Worlds best street Circuit and in front of my home crowd. That's my aim for next season and I can't wait to be part of the F3s return to the Clipsal 500."
The Australian Formula 3 Championship can almost consider the Clipsal 500 Adelaide as a ‘home' race, with several drivers and major teams hailing from the Adelaide region.
The 2009 Clipsal 500 Adelaide will serve as the opening round of the 53rd running of Australia's highest racing award, the CAMS Australian Drivers Championship for the Gold Star. Though the 2008 championship has only just finished the breakout season experienced by Formula 3 has seen a burst of interest from potential drivers and teams, giving early indications that the 2009 season could be even more competitive.