In a weekend of many firsts, Team BRM’s Simon Fallon has won his first career CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship round today at Phillip Island.
In a frantic third and final race on Sunday afternoon, Fallon climbed as high as second place after a safety car period and rain bunched the field in the Sunday finale at the Shannons Nationals.
Liam Lawson had crossed the chequered flag first in Race Three, but was deemed to have overtaken during the safety car period and dropped to seventh after a 30 second time penalty – which then promoted Fallon as race winner.
Fallon and Ryan Suhle were also tied on points for the round. However, Fallon’s win in the final race determined that he would also be the round winner.
“It was a really good feeling… it’s good to come out today with a fresh start, reset and show that even though we had a bad day [yesterday], keep pushing forward and make the most of it,” Fallon said.
“This is a big boost for us. We’ve had a rough start [to the year]… luckily now I feel like we’ve got the car up to a stage where we’re up the front again, we’re back into it, we’ll go into the next round confident and hopefully come out on top there.”
Suhle, who also claimed he and Zagame Autosport’s first Australian Formula 4 win in Saturday’s opening race, was pleased the pace he and teammate Tyler Everingham (Race Two winner) have displayed all weekend. With second place on the podium, Suhle was also the Burson Auto Parts Rookie of the Round.
“We’re pretty excited for both of us to have a race win on the same weekend. It really shows that Zagame Autosport’s coming together as a team and we’re starting to get the pace,” Suhle said.
“I’m really excited to have a good weekend here because that can boost our championship and definitely Burson Auto Parts Rookie of the Year fight.”
Lawson’s penalty also elevated Cameron Shields to the final podium position in third for both race three and the round. Despite the rain appearing mid-race on slicks, Shields was eager for more of the inclement weather.
“When it started raining, I was hoping it would start raining heavier to be honest, I was hoping it was going to bucket down!” Shields said.
“Before the race, the other BRM boys were hoping it was going to rain. We were all driving very well in the wet after Sandown, and after that as well we’ve had some outstanding results. I was quite happy when it started to sprinkle, I made up a few positions. In the end, I just got pipped by Ryan there over the line. I came out third in the end, but there was only four-hundredths in it.”
It was also a CAMS Foundation Rising Star lockout of the podium, the first in the recently relaunched initiative’s history in Australian Formula 4.
Despite a spin on lap two for AGI Sport’s Nick Rowe, which later eventuated into a DNF, and finishing sixth for the round, Rowe has eclipsed Liam Lawson as championship leader by just one point after Phillip Island.
There was a long Safety Car period from lap three after Aaron Love lost control onto the grass, and collided with Sage Murdoch at turn two. The impact saw Murdoch’s AGI Sport car roll upside down into the gravel trap, but he was otherwise unharmed in the impact.
Racing later resumed on lap nine, however brief spots of rain hit the Phillip Island Circuit. With the majority of the field hailing from a karting background, driving on slicks in the wet was not an uncomfortable experience.
With still several laps remaining, the chequered flag was declared early with limited time and worsening weather a factor.
Crews will now enjoy a two-month gap before we reach Round Five of the championship at Queensland Raceway on July 28–30.
Revised Round Four Results
1st: Simon Fallon – Team BRM: 43
2nd: Ryan Suhle – Zagame Autosport: 43
3rd: Cameron Shields – Team BRM: 37
4th: Tyler Everingham – Zagame Autosport: 36
5th: Zane Morse – Team BRM: 32
6th: Nick Rowe – AGI Sport: 27
7th: Liam Lawson – Team BRM: 22
8th: Aaron Love – Team BRM: 14
9th: Josh Denton – Team BRM: 12
10th: Zak Best – AGI Sport: 12
11th: Jordan Mazzaroli – JRD: 12
12th: Sage Murdoch – AGI Sport: 12
13th: Harley Haber – AGI Sport: 10
Race Three Results
1st: Simon Fallon – Team BRM
2nd: Ryan Suhle – Zagame Autosport
3rd: Cameron Shields – Team BRM
4th: Josh Denton – Team BRM
5th: Tyler Everingham – Zagame Autosport
6th: Zak Best – AGI Sport
7th: Liam Lawson – Team BRM
8th: Zane Morse – Team BRM
9th: Jordan Mazzaroli – JRD
DNF: Nick Rowe – AGI Sport
DNF: Aaron Love – Team BRM
DNF: Sage Murdoch – AGI Sport
Championship Points After Round Four
1st: Nick Rowe – 187
2nd: Liam Lawson – 186
3rd: Cameron Shields – 158
4th: Ryan Suhle – 120
5th: Josh Denton – 106
6th: Tyler Everingham – 104
7th: Simon Fallon – 74
8th: Aaron Love – 66
9th: Zane Morse – 62
10th: Jordan Mazzaroli – 56
11th: Zak Best – 40
12th: Harley Haber – 34
13th: Sage Murdoch – 18