MAGIC MARCO AS TEAM BRM'S ITALIAN STAR CHARGES FORWARD TO FIRST CHAMPIONSHIP PODIUM. Team BRM's Italian charger Marco Mapelli has secured his first two podium finishes of his young Formula 3 racing career following a competitive weekend for the...
MAGIC MARCO AS TEAM BRM'S ITALIAN STAR CHARGES FORWARD TO FIRST CHAMPIONSHIP PODIUM.
Team BRM's Italian charger Marco Mapelli has secured his first two podium finishes of his young Formula 3 racing career following a competitive weekend for the Adelaide-based Italian at Phillip Island in Victoria at the weekend.
It was a fantastic performance from 18-year-old Marco as he drove two aggressive races in his #4 Team BRM / Gawler Farm Machinery Dallara F304 Spiess to score a haul of championship points and double his score in the Gold Star championship standings -- leaping up to sixth place with five rounds to go.
Mapelli qualified third for each race, missing second place by just .02s in qualifying one and, in a similar performance, missing pole position by less than two-tenths of a second.
In race one Mapelli fought a race-long battle with the vastly more experienced Charlie Hollings, falling short at the line by just .05s after concerted attacks on the British driver for a majority of the race.
In race two he was again involved in many dices and brought the car home cleanly in another podium finish. Incredibly, he completed almost two thirds of the race with a cut and deflating tyre after an earlier contact with another car.
Showing his incredible natural talent, Mapelli set his fastest lap on the eighth of fourteen before slowing to conserve the tyre in order to finish.
"For me this has been a good weekend," Marco said following the second race.
"I feel like we are getting closer and closer and this weekend I had a chance to win - but in the second race I had a cut tyre.
"I decided not to push too hard and risk the tyre blowing so I finished on the podium. It's always nice to be there but now I think we can win I am not satisfied!
"The car was perfect this weekend and the team are doing a great job." He said.
The Audi Centre Melbourne #29 Team BRM entry of Stuart Kostera didn't have quite the weekend of his team-mate but was able to secure more championship points to remain in the hunt after winning the first race of the season several months ago.
Kostera, from Perth, qualified seventh for each race -- showing how competitive the field is this season -- and finished in the same position in race one after a spirited battle with Leanne Tander and Mat Sofi.
In race two he looked set for a similarly positive finish until stewards imposed a 30-second post-race penalty as a result of a coming together with Hollings at the notorious MG corner.
Mapelli now has 45 points with Kostera five ahead -- the Team BRM duo fifth and sixth in the Gold Star championship but still well within contention.