TWO OF F3'S ELITE TO KNOCK UP THE HALF CENTURY AT SYMMONS PLAINS TWO OF THE MOST consistently successful drivers to have raced in the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship will both log their 50th championship race starts during the...
TWO OF F3'S ELITE TO KNOCK UP THE HALF CENTURY AT SYMMONS PLAINS
TWO OF THE MOST consistently successful drivers to have raced in the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship will both log their 50th championship race starts during the final round of the 2008 series to be held at Symmons Plains this weekend.
And it's not without a sense of irony either - the two drivers set to share the celebratory cake next weekend are the same two that went head to head for last years championship as bitter rivals.
Title contender Leanne Tander will make start number 50 in race one at the Tasmanian Circuit, whilst 2007 Champion Tim Macrow will return to Scud Racing and his venerable F301 Dallara to contest his 50th race in the Country Club F3 SuperPrix race that will end the points-paying season.
The two Victorian based drivers are amongst the most statistically successful drivers to have raced in the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship.
In his 48 starts to date, Macrow has won seven and finished on the podium an incredible 25 times - a strike rate of over 50%. Macrow's F3 career of course included his famous last-race win in last years Australian Drivers' Championship, one of the closest in recent memory.
Tander's 49 starts have featured five wins and 20 podium finishes and a record-breaking run last year to second in the championship. After a slow start to the 2008 season, the TanderSport driver has closed to within one point of leader James Winslow ahead of the Tasmanian showdown.
Both will notch up their milestone races whilst aiming for vastly different kinds of results at the weekend. Whilst Leanne shoots for title glory, Macrow will have a far more relaxed weekend enjoying being back behind the wheel of his very first F3 car.
"I guess I didn't realize how many F3 races I had actually started - It's gone so quickly!" Tander said.
"I'm really glad that Formula 3 is the category I chose to make a full-time return to racing in three years ago. Regardless of whether I win or loose this year's championship next weekend in Tasmania, Formula 3 has enabled me to reestablish myself as a consistent and legitimate title contender at the top levels of Australian Motorsport. It has been fantastic.
" (Formula 3) has helped me become a better driver - it's helped my understanding of the technical and setup side of the sport. I'm a much better all-round driver for the experience."
Macrow has past experience at the Symmons Plains circuit in the Scud Racing Dallara, having contested the Tasmanian round in 2006 as a privateer entry when he owned the car.
As such he expects to be a contender amongst the 2004-spec cars that will make up the ultra-competitive National Class - a real ‘race within a race' - within the F3 field.
"As always I can't wait to get back in the car and have a go," enthused Macrow.
"I think we'll struggle to catch the (new) F307 cars there but back in 2006 the '01 was as fast as the best of the National Class cars are now so If we can get in front of them it should be good. It's all about helping Scud get to the front and I'm really looking forward to the weekend.
"My 50 starts have come up pretty quickly... It's really crept up on me. It's been a great category for it and obviously the win last season was an absolute career highlight. Next weekend will be about going out and having some fun and I really can't wait!"
Practice gets underway on Friday morning, September 19th, with two races - culminating in the Country Club Tasmania Formula 3 SuperPrix season finale' - to be contested on Sunday, September 21 as part of the Shannons Nationals event.