AUSF3: Team BRM Oran Park race report

Fantastic performance from Team BRM Race one of the 5th round of the 2003 Australian Formula 3 Championship produced one of the best performances for each of the Team BRM drivers this season. The race was action packed right from the...

Fantastic performance from Team BRM

Race one of the 5th round of the 2003 Australian Formula 3 Championship produced one of the best performances for each of the Team BRM drivers this season.

The race was action packed right from the start. On the first lap Kenny Habul, Dallara F301 Alfa Romeo, ran up the back of James Cressey, Dallara F301 Spiess Opel, causing Habul's car to become air born. Habul was taken to hospital as a precaution, but suffered no serious injuries other than soreness in the chest and ribs, possibly caused by his seat belts. Later in the race the safety car was brought out after Maher Algadri, Dallara F301 Mugan Honda, hit the wall on the main straight. Algadri was trying to avoid the spinning Jonathon Chan, Dallara F301 Renault Sodemo.

Team BRM's Matt Fitzgerald, Inmotion Technologies Dallara F301 Spiess Opel, made a tremendous start, rocketing up to 4th position at the completion of lap one, after qualifying in 10th. Fitzgerald drove brilliantly in his best race this season to finish in 6th place. Fitzgerald was passed by championship leader Michael Caruso, Dallara F301 Fiat Nova, on lap four and was involved in a tight battle with Peter Hackett, Dallara F301 Renault Sodemo, in the closing stages of the race, with Hackett just beating Fitzgerald home.

Karl Reindler, in the Team BRM UTS Geophysics Dallara F301 Spiess Opel, started the race in 4th position but moved into 3rd place during the first lap. Reindler held this position until the safety car period caused by Algadrie's accident. Reindler lost a place to a Caruso at the restart of the race after the safety car. It was a strong performance for Reindler in his first race at the Oran Park Raceway.

Craig Rundle, this weekend replacing Darren Palmer in the Team BRM, U-Drive SA Dallara F301 Spiess Opel, was forced to start from pit lane in the first race after his starter motor broke on the dummy grid. Rundle pushed hard to get back into the race, charging his way through the grid to finish in a very pleasing 8th position, two places above his initial qualifying position.

Things did not go quiet as well for Team BRM in race two.

Matt Fitzgerald missed the start and dropped right back the order to the rear of the field. The work Fitzgerald and the Team did to his car over night saw Fitzgerald much happier in the car than he had been all weekend, which was evident in his performance in the first race and again in the second race. Fitzgerald was finally comfortable with the car set up and was able to push hard, moving up from last place to finish in 7th position, just ahead of his team mate Reindler.

Karl Reindler again made an excellent start to move up four places to be in 5th place after the first lap. The young West Australian held this position until lap seven, when he passed Christian Jones, Dallara F301 Mugan Honda, to take 4th position. A few laps after this the safety car was brought out after his Team BRM team mate, Craig Rundle, spun. The safety car came in at the completion of the penultimate lap, providing a last lap dash to the finish line. Reindler was struggling with grip on his cool tyres after following the safety car for four laps and had a minor off at the southern corner, dropping him down the order and allowing team mate Fitzgerald to get past him. Reindler was still able to finish in 8th position.

After qualifying in an impressive 6th place for the second race, Craig Rundle dropped back to 9th at the start of the race. Rundle passed Marcus La Delle, Dallara F301 Alfa Romeo, on the ninth lap to be in 8th position. Throughout the race Rundle increasingly had to struggle with his tyres and he ran wide on lap 11 causing him to spin out of the race. This brought out the safety car so that Rundle's car could be removed from the track. Despite not finishing the race, Rundle set the 4th fastest lap time in the second race, just behind his team mate Reindler.

Team BRM were very pleased with the performance of Fitzgerald, Reindler and Rundle this weekend. The Team feels it has improved greatly from where they were in the previous rounds and is looking forward to continuing this improved performance in coming rounds.

The next round will be held at Phillip Island, August 8-10. Between now and then, you can catch all the action from the Queensland Raceway round on Network 7, July 26 between 12-1pm as a part of the Procar Champ Series.

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About this article
Series F3
Drivers Michael Caruso , Christian Jones , Karl Reindler , Phillip Island