Evans too good in opening F3 round
Mitch Evans has made the best possible start to the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship, taking victory in all three opening races of the 2010 title at Wakefield Park this weekend.
Held as part of the opening round of the Shannons Nationals Motor Racing Championship, 15-year-old Evans won each of the three races, but had to contend with fellow New Zealander Ben Crighton, who put in a strong performance.
“My starts have been really good all weekend long, it’s been working well since I started, hopefully I can maintain it through the series,” said Evans.
“Ben pushed me hard, but I was able to get a gap until I got caught in a bit of lapped traffic (in the final race), but I managed to hold on.”
Crighton’s trio of second placed finishes provided the TanderSport driver with his best ever weekend of Formula 3 competition, which included a new outright lap record for Wakefield Park, bettering Aaron Caratti’s previous benchmark set back in 2005.
“At least the lap record is something good to have at home in the books,” said Crighton.
“(Mitch) got me at the starts by one to one-and-a-half car lengths, but I managed to pull him back mid-race.
“You can’t give away that sort of gap at the starts unfortunately.”
Evans’ clean sweep also provided another milestone for his Team BRM squad, notching up a remarkable 100 races wins in Australian national level competition across both Formula 3 and Formula Ford.
Tom Tweedie drove hard all weekend long for a lock out of the bottom step of the podium, a well earned achievement after holding off the advances of British debutant Ben Barker in the intense 25 lap final heat.
In the Kerrick Sports Sedan Series, Kerry Baily (Nissan 300ZX) may have won the war, but his efforts were overshadowed by a giant killing drive in the third and final race by rotary powered Mazda RX7 driver Trent Young.
As the drivers lined up on the starting grid, heavy rain fell on the circuit, making life treacherous for the slick-tyre shod 700 horsepower monsters.
Undeterred, Young splashed his way through the field to claim his maiden National Sports Sedan race victory.
“If you went just a foot offline, you were gone,” said Young.
“It really brought back a bit of the old go-kart days, driving with slicks in the wet.”
Baily won the opening encounter, with reigning series champion Des Wall taking out the second race in his Corvette, with Darren Hossack’s Audi third overall for the weekend.
A new initiative for the Sports Sedans this weekend was the PPG Gearbox Dash for Cash, which featured the top-six qualifiers inverted for a four-lap sprint on Saturday afternoon.
Scott Butler won an entertaining affair in his Camaro, heading home Baily who charged from the back of the pack, and pole sitter Shane Bradford in another Camaro, with the new format receiving widespread approval.
The Commodore Cup National Series provided a mixed bag of results. Commodore Cup debutant Adam Beechey took overall honours, but the race victories were shared between Jason Domaschenz, Beechey and first-time class winner Matt Chick, who showed supreme car control on a sodden circuit in the finale.
The Mazda MX5 Challenge made its maiden appearance on the Shannons Nationals program, with close racing the order of the weekend. Matilda Mravicic took out three of the five action packed races, with Chris Tonna claiming victory in the first and the final races – the last event held on a near-flooded circuit.
The Shannons Nationals continues on April 10-11 at Tasmania’s Symmons Plains circuit just outside of Launceston, with categories including the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship, the Australian Manufacturers Championship, Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge and the Shannons V8 Touring Car National Series.