Sep 17, 2014
TITLE BATTLE TO STEP UP AT PHILLIP ISLAND
THE THREE contenders for the 2014 Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship will fight the remainder of the season on equal terms following Chris Anthony’s switch to a current-spec Mygale for the remainder of the season.
The 18-year-old from Cooma began the season in a Team BRM Dallara F307 and won the Bathurst round – however the slight performance disadvantage of the older-specification car compared to the later entries driven by rivals Simon Hodge and Ben Gersekowski was exposed in subsequent rounds.
But a late switch to an available Mygale M11-Mercedes chassis raced to a podium finish at Sandown earlier this season by John Magro puts Anthony back on equal footings with his nearest title rivals.
Team BRM sits first and third in the Gold Star standings after five rounds with McDonald’s Gilmour Racing driver Ben Gersekowski second.
Gersekowski trails Hodge by just 14 points with Anthony just 44 from the lead and well in contention with plenty of racing still to come.
Anthony says he’s looking forward to stepping up his campaign across the remaining rounds this year.
“It’s going to be a lot different now,” he explained.
“We tested the car in the rain at Phillip Island recently and I could already feel the difference, so I’m hoping it’s dry this weekend so we can have a proper crack and feel the difference.
“The difference between the cars was exposed at Queensland when I was quick in practice and qualifying but just lacked that little bit extra to race with those guys in the actual racing.
“The new car should give us that little bit extra and help us run with them.”
The later-specification Mygale chassis offers extra downforce, less drag and a different front suspension setup when compared to the older Dallara Anthony has driven this season – and also has a full year’s worth of development under its belt as well.
After winning at Bathurst earlier this year, Anthony says he can’t wait to get to Phillip Island to experience the fastest circuit in Australian motorsport.
“I don’t enjoy the stop-start stuff as much and as soon as I got to a big, faster and more flowing circuit we were quicker – I like the high speed stuff more!” he said.
“I think it’s an awesome place to debut the car.. there aren’t that many walls to crash into and break the thing, so that’s another bonus. It’s a great place and the best track in Australia – it just has an awesome vibe with the layout and the sea next to you.”
Quick times in testing have buoyed teams about the potential of record-breaking pace at Phillip Island this weekend should the notoriously fickle weather play the game.
The outright lap record at the 4.46km circuit was set in the year 2000 by Simon Wills in a Reynard 94D Formula Holden, and Formula 3 cars – with less aero and horsepower – have been gradually closing the gap in the intervening years.
Double Gold Star champion Tim Macrow set the F3 lap record twelve months ago, just 0.3 seconds from Wills’ existing benchmark – one that has been unofficially beaten in private testing already.
The circuit is the quickest in Australia with an average lap speed of 190km/hr.
As well as the outright championship fight, the battle for the Forpark Australia F3 National class will continue between Garnet Patterson and Chelsea Angelo, with both to make their Formula 3 debut at the Island.
Angelo, in particular, will be keen to make an impact at her home circuit after tasting success there in Australian Formula Ford competition – including setting a lap record.
Round 6 of the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship will include three races across the weekend at the Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals event this weekend.
Sunday’s sprint race and 14-lap feature will be streamed live via www.thenationals.com.au and Nationals TV.
Action will be then be showcased on SBS TV’s Speedweek program in coming weeks with thanks to Formula 3 ADC partner, Replay XD Australia.