Chris Gilmour gets early edge at Sandown

Chris Gilmour at Sandown Raceway

Chris Gilmour at Sandown Raceway

Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship leader Chris Gilmour has topped the times at Sandown Raceway ahead of this weekend’s fifth round.

Changeable conditions dominated the sessions, with Gilmour good enough to knock out a 1m09.1942s time on his last lap to top the final dry session.

John Magro was second fastest for the day, just 0.3s behind his Queensland counterpart.

Gilmour was happy with his speed on Day 1, but said that weather will be the deciding factor this weekend.

“We’re happy, the car feels like its on rails,” he said.

“The new brakes are good though it’s taking a while to get used to it. But overall we’re really pleased with the package. I think we’ll probably go about a second faster in qualifying as long as it’s dry – the weather is going to dictate everything this weekend.”

Returning British ace James Winslow – who led the title race prior to missing the most recent round at Morgan Park – topped a wet first practice before only completing half the laps of his rivals in the second session after an issue with his car’s ECU (engine control unit) forced his R-Tek team to switch units.

Winslow, who had never been to Sandown before today, was pleased to be back on Australian soil despite his issues today.

“It was strange but we didn’t notice it as much in the first session because it was wet,” Winslow explained.

“The guys did a great job to get the ECU changed in such a quick time but we weren’t able to get back out. But the car feels good and I think we’re in a good place to get our championship back on track this weekend.”

After emerging from his dramatic rollover at Morgan Park and receiving a funds injection from his 90-year-old grandmother, R-Tek driver Josh Burdon showed the faith invested in him by so many had not been misplaced by topping the competitors in the Forpark Australia Scholarship and F3 National Class.

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