THE CHRIS SEEKS A F3 NIKON INDY 300 CHALLENGE WITH ASTUTI SYDNEY DRIVER Chris Alajajian just loves a challenge. Not content with sitting on the sidelines, 22-year-old Alajajian will return to the Formula 3 hot seat next week on one of the ...
THE CHRIS SEEKS A F3 NIKON INDY 300 CHALLENGE WITH ASTUTI
SYDNEY DRIVER Chris Alajajian just loves a challenge.
Not content with sitting on the sidelines, 22-year-old Alajajian will return to the Formula 3 hot seat next week on one of the biggest stages of them all - the Nikon Indy 300 on the Gold Coast.
Alajajian has inked a one-race deal with Melbourne team Astuti Motorsport and will line up against a field that includes the best and brightest from this years Australian Drivers Championship, coupled with several visiting internationals.
"Street circuits really suit my driving style, and I love Indy so why wouldn't I want to come back!" he exclaimed.
Alajajian will front as one of only two drivers in the field to have raced a Formula 3 car at the circuit after making his F3 debut at the 2004 Nikon Indy 300 event, driving an Astuti-prepared F301 Dallara.
Of this years field, only Queenslander Chris Gilmour joined Alajajian on the 2004 grid giving them both perceivable advantages ahead of next week's three-race, non-championship showdown.
'The Chris' will jump into the same F307 chassis that won this year at Oran Park, giving him a chance to compete at the very front of a talent-filled grid.
"I'm hoping to use my experience at Indy in an F3 car to my advantage," he said. "I know the track, I know the cars and I've worked with Astuti Motorsport many times before so hopefully it will all come together nicely and work well for us.
"I've worked with Sam (Astuti, team owner) before and he's a great mechanic and engineer. I've won races with his team before and I'm looking forward to racing with them again."
After driving with A1 Team Lebanon in the 2007 / 08 A1GP season - and racing against John Martin (who will drive for Piccola at Indy) at Eastern Creek's A1GP round in January - Alajajian has had a quiet year but returned in a one-off drive at the Eastern Creek F3 round in July with a performance that reminded everyone of his prodigious talent.
The driver from Sydney's North Shore showed all his usual flair en route to a pair of podium finishes despite not having driven an F3 car for over eight months. Now he says that the competition on offer this weekend drove him to return to the heat of Formula 3 battle.
"I wouldn't compete if there wasn't good competition, and every time I have raced F3 the series has provided it," He said.
"Having the likes of John Martin and the other internationals in the field, as well as the top runners in this years championship, only makes it more exciting and tougher to win. I can't wait to get out there and race with them. It's been a while since I was in a car but last time I drove in Formula 3 I was on the podium, after a long time out of the seat, so hopefully I can pick up where I left off and challenge at the front.
"I couldn't be more excited."