FANTASTIC TEAM PERFORMANCE FROM BRM DRIVERS AT AUSTRALIAN GP When a two-car team places both its cars inside the top five of a race it's always considered a strong team achievement. When a three car team does the job it's considered even more...
FANTASTIC TEAM PERFORMANCE FROM BRM DRIVERS AT AUSTRALIAN GP
When a two-car team places both its cars inside the top five of a race it's always considered a strong team achievement.
When a three car team does the job it's considered even more impressive.
However, when a five car team places a majority of it's competitors inside the top ten across a race weekend it is a massive achievement -- but it's what was done by Australia's most successful Open Wheel team, Team BRM, at Albert Park last weekend.
Team BRM's fantastic five lived up to their reputation at the Formula 1 ING Australian Grand Prix Australian Formula 3 Support races at the weekend by storming proceedings and filling a majority of the top ten positions in each of the four races held over the weekend.
In the end, Team BRM won two of the four races, scored pole position, placed a two cars on the podium in all bar one race and filled positions inside the top five with two other drivers throughout the weekend.
The team will now head to Oran Park Raceway in late April for the next round of the Australian Drivers Championship, with championship contender Stuart Kostera rejoining the team - and points leader Chris Alajajian - to assist its goal in winning back-to-back championships.
MARCO MAPELLI - #3 Gawler Farm Machinery Dallara F304 Spiess Opel
Marco, in just his second ever race meeting in a Formula 3 car, was a standout performer and opened many eyes with his race results at Albert Park.
After a strong run at Eastern Creek in February, Mapelli, 19, scored three podiums from the four races and -- now he has some race miles under his belt -- has asserted himself as one to watch in the rounds ahead.
"I need to say thanks to my team because they have done a very good job," Mapelli said.
"I fought very hard to defend my position in the first race because I badly wanted to be on the podium.
"This has been a good weekend for me. It's good to race in front of the Formula one teams, drivers and the big crowd. We contested four races and it has been hard but the races were spectacular. The times this weekend are proof that I am continuing to improve and learn. Thanks to my Father and my Manager for coming this weekend."
KARL REINDLER - #4 National Tyres Dallara F304 Spiess Opel
Team BRM's 2004 Australian F3 Champion Karl Reindler rejoined the team for a one-off race in Melbourne and came away from Albert Park with a weekend of two distinct parts.
The first part was a strong run in qualifying that saw the West Australian driver score pole position.
Unfortunately the races didn't go to plan after the first race saw Karl given a black-flag penalty for allegedly rolling at the start.
From thereon in Reindler fought hard to regain ground throughout the next races -- scoring ninth, fourth and seventh place finishes in the first three events.
In the fourth Reindler's engine developed dramas that forced him out of the race and a tough weekend.
"A tough weekend, considering it started so well," Reindler said.
"It's so frustrating. Started with the black flag and that stuffed everything up. It's great to work with Team BRM again -- they are an awesome bunch of guys -- and it was a great opportunity to learn another circuit. It's just disappointing that it couldn't have been better."
CHRIS ALAJAJIAN - #22 Jack Hillermans Smash Dallara F304 Renault
As fast an aggressive as always, Chris Alajajian continued his supreme pace and showed his talent throughout the Grand Prix weekend but was on the back foot from day one after a heavy crash in the Thursday practice session.
Alajajian hit the turn 16 wall after the rear end of his Dallara broke out from underneath him, leaving the young Sydneysider a passenger as the car spun out of control.
A Herculean effort by the team ensured that the car was repaired in time for the first race where, on a mission, he charged from 30th on the grid to fifth at the finish after just six full racing laps.
A spin in the second race meant that he would again have to charge through the field, Chris scoring his best result of fifth in the final race.
"Having the crash in qualifying really didn't help us; it put us on the back foot for the weekend," Alajajian said.
"I finished fifth in the first race which was a great comeback but we had a lot more potential than where our finishing positions really show. The team has done such a great job to get the car ready and repair it in such a short time after the race.
"I think there is a bit more in myself as a driver, too find some more speed."
TIM MACROW - #29 PHR Dallara F304 Renault
The current Australian Formula 3 Championship leader joined Team BRM for a one-off race meeting and was his usual competitive best.
Macrow raced his way to second place in the first race on Thursday and from thereon in was the fastest car in the field -- passing into the lead on the first lap of race two and going on to record his first win at Albert Park.
Macrow then won race three, on Saturday, and only lost the fourth after being judged to have passed under yellow in a controversial finish to the race weekend.
"Team BRM have been fantastic to me," Macrow said after the final race.
"To have their main championship rival before the event come into their team and drive for them at such a big event must have been strange for them, but they were so professional and gave me a great car.
"Thanks to Maher Algadri for making this happen. It's been a great weekend."
MAHER ALGADRI - #19 PHR Dallara F304 Renault
Maher Algadri had a strong weekend in his #19 car, scoring results of 17th in three races, and 19th in the other.