FORMULA 3 CHAMPIONSHIP – ROUND 1 SHANNONS NATIONALS SANDOWN April 1 – 3
saw the opening round of the Australian Formula 3 Championship with the Shannons Nationals at Sandown Raceway, Victoria. Christopher’s 2016 campaign with new team, McDonald’s Gilmour Racing, got off to a great start. Day 1 – Practice Session was spent getting used to my new engineer Matt and mechanic Callum. We worked together to get my car’s setup organised for the weekends race. The guys gave me a rocket of a car that felt great to drive. We were all happy with the first day. Day 2 – Qualify and Race 1: Qualify was a wet affair that didn’t go quite to plan; due to a rain light failure on track causing me to be brought back into the pits after 3 laps. Unfortunately it was not able to be repaired and I had to sit out the rest of the session. The one flying lap I had put me in P2 for the 1st race. Race 1 saw me finish in 2nd position after a hard fought dice with two-time champion Tim Macrow. The car was fast and Tim is a tough competitor. Day 3 – Race 2 and Race 3: Race 2 was a reverse grid of the top 4, placing me in 4th and Tim in 3rd. I got a flying start and lead into the first corner. The car was super quick and I manage to get away from Tim, it was a great on track battle with me winning the race. Giving both Tim and I a victory each going into the final race. Race 3; I started from p3 on the grid. This was due to the second best qualifying time during qualify, as I had sat out of the session, due to the faulty rain light, this cost me a chance to improve my time. I got into second place at the first corner but by then Tim had a great start and was well ahead of me, my task was to hunt him down. A safety car was called for 2 laps. On the restart Tim and I raced to the finish line where I finished 2nd. Despite finishing in second in the final race of the weekend, I set the quickest lap time, which was 2 tenths off the lap record.
It’s good to be back in the series and there was some tough racing this weekend. It was great to get the win in race 2 against Tim, who has won the championship twice. It was good to give the team a win with a terrific car they worked hard on and it’s an excellent way to start our season. I didn’t get the best of starts in the final race but we pushed hard, got good points and the year off to a good start sitting 2nd in the Championship only 6 points behind 1st. It’s going to be a competitive season, especially against an experienced driver like Tim. I’m looking forward to Round 2 at Philip Island in May.
I want to say a big thank you to my sponsors who, with their support, has made it possible to for me to race – Atlantic Oil, Bausele Watches, Beko, Betta Home Living, Alan Dodd, Cooma Catering, Mitre 10 Cooma and Hazeldean.
I am happy to have been able to give you good results on the first round of the year. Don’t for get to watch Speed Week TV on SBS for my interview. It will air 28th April 2016