FORMULA 3 DROUGHT BREAKERS IN ACTION IN SYMMONS PLAINS PRACTICE The Federal Government may yet need to employ the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship as it's official 'drought breakers', following another wet day's running from the...
FORMULA 3 DROUGHT BREAKERS IN ACTION IN SYMMONS PLAINS PRACTICE
The Federal Government may yet need to employ the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship as it's official 'drought breakers', following another wet day's running from the wings and slicks category today.
Both practice sessions held today at Symmons Plains raceway in Tasmania were held in wet conditions as a top field gathers for the seventh round of the series, this weekend featuring the inaugural Country Club Tasmania Formula 3 SuperPrix for the John Bowe Trophy.
Four of the six rounds held to date have been rain affected and wet weather Kumho's were the order of the day this morning as well, as a heavy shower swept across the 2.4km circuit just before opening practice.
Persistent rain throughout the second session, held later in the afternoon, meant that times were more than 10-seconds per lap slower than the lap record pace -- a record that, given dry conditions, may be broken this weekend.
Incidentally, the weather cleared almost immediately following the conclusion of each practice session today.
Leanne Tander (#42 Fleetcare TanderSport Dallara F304 Spiess) topped the first session this morning whilst Barton Mawer -- clearly fired up from success in an unofficial pre-event karting battle earlier in the week -- was quickest in the wetter second session, driving his Team BRM / Opes Prime Dallara.
The second session times were almost three seconds per lap slower than the first practice, showing the amount of water dumped on the circuit throughout the day.
Italian Marco Mapelli (#4 Team BRM Dallara F304 Spiess) has revelled in the rain this season and showed his nous again this morning with second fastest time, just ahead of Championship points leader Tim Macrow (#60 Cooltemp / Scud Racing Dallara F304 Spiess) and Mawer.
In practice two Astuti Motorsport Dallara driver Charlie Hollings, from the UK, used webbed-feet to go second fastest ahead of Tander and Winslow.
Hollings' team-mate, Victorian Daniel Schulz, was impressive in wet weather conditions today and logged the sixth-fastest time in P2.
Sydneysider Mat Sofi also took to the circuit like a duck to water, showing revitalised pace in his Ralt Australia / Total Developments #2 Dallara to be fifth in practice one and fourth in P2.
"The car is great in the wet, but wet or dry I think we are up for a good weekend here. It's going well." Sofi said.
Jesse Wakeman (#58 R-Tek F3 / JR Motorsport Dallara F301) was the only major casualty of the day as he crashed his National Class Dallara heavily exiting the turn 1-2 complex, just before the Symmons Plains Bridge.
Wakeman got his car crossed up in the wet conditions and impacted the barrier heavily, causing damage to both the front and rear of his car.
"I got crossed up and was heading for the wall," Wakeman explained.
"I avoided that but then it flicked back the other way and I took both the front and back off. It was very wet out there and conditions were tricky and I'm just disappointed to have to make the guys do all this work to get it back together."
Wakeman still ended up quickest of the National Class runners today, whilst fellow South Aussie Samantha Reid had her first taste of wings, slicks and wets today as she adapted to her Trophy Class entry from Scud Racing.
The 20-year-old completed 50 laps today and showed impressive pace in the oldest car In the field, lapping just a few tenths slower than newer model cars despite having only sat in an F3 car for the first time on Tuesday.
Two qualifying sessions will be held tomorrow, the first to set the grid for race one and the second for the all-important Country Club Tasmania Formula 3 SuperPrix.
Crucially, dry weather is forecast meaning teams will have to again change the setups of their cars after adapting them to the wet conditions today.
The 30-lap Country Club Tasmania Formula 3 SuperPrix will be held Sunday afternoon.