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Sunday 1st June 2003

Wakefield Park, Race 1, 1/6/03

Formula 3’s first race took place in fine, sunny conditions at Wakefield Park this morning. David Borg was an early casualty. His car was pushed off the grid before the start, due to damage to the floor which he incurred during an off track excursion on the observation lap.

James Cressey and BRM’s Matt Fitzgerald both missed the start and were very slow away, Cressey at a loss to explain what happened. Barton Mawer, on pole, did not get off the line well. Caruso from second place on the grid, and Hackett from fourth place both made excellent starts, and Jones slotted in behind them. Mawer followed in fourth, with Gurr in fifth. As the field packed down into the last corner onto the main straight, Kenny Habul and Darren Palmer had a coming together. Palmer was squeezed out onto the dirt on the inside of the track, damaging his steering rack.

As the race settled into its rhythm, Caruso led from Hackett, with Jones in third, followed by Mawer, Gurr, Habul, Palmer, and Reindler. James Cressey, who had been in eighth place on the grid, had dropped back to twelfth behind as a result of his start line dramas.

PSC’s Kenny Habul, still suffering the after effects of surgery two weeks ago, found himself out of the race, his Dallara 301 Alfa Romeo stuck in gear. Palmer narrowly avoided him as he slowed. BRM’s rookie, Karl Reindler was having a solid run in sixth.

In the Yokohama Trophy class, Billy Maddocks was having a good race, leading Chris Coombs and David Choon. David Borg had not started, and Peter Rees had retired after four laps.

Caruso was drawing away at the front, as the battle for second and third hotted up between Hackett, Jones and Mawer. Hackett appeared to be suffering from gearbox problems, as Jones and Mawer continued to push him hard.

On lap 13, Chris Coombs went off at the top of the circuit, but managed to keep his car going, and rejoined the race, behind Maddocks and Choon.

Four laps from the finish, Hackett’s gearbox woes took their toll. He went off at the last corner onto the main straight, rejoining the track in fifth place. Caruso led comfortably, with Jones in second and Mawer in third - the gap between second and third a mere 0.3 seconds.

On the second last lap, Jones ran wide at the last corner, and Mawer saw his opportunity and seized it, diving down the inside to snatch second place.

Caruso was in for the win with Mawer second, and Jones third. Despite his gearbox problems, Hackett set a new lap record on lap twelve, a 55.1298, eclipsing Michael Caruso’s record of 55.4734, set in 2002.

Alan Gurr was fourth, a good result for him, with a fastest lap of 0:55.1398. Peter Hackett was fifth, and Karl Reindler finished a solid sixth, in front of his team mates, Palmer and Fitzgerald.

Championship leader James Cressey, finished ninth.

Maddocks won the Yokohama Trophy race, with David Choon second and Chris Coombs third.

Press Release, Australian F3-Association




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