May 29, 2016
MACROW EXTENDS POINTS LEAD AFTER ISLAND CLEAN SWEEP
Tim Macrow extended his title points lead from 9 to 19 today with double victories in the Australian FORMULA 3 Premier Series, but the timesheet doesn’t tell the full story.
Macrow (#88 AIE/Brookes Alpine Motorsports Dallara-Mercedes) took two victories from two races today to clinch the round win, but in both races he was under pressure from Chris Anthony (#17 McDonalds Gilmour Racing Dallara-Mercedes) for the majority of the weekend.
“Chris was on it,” said Macrow. “We were struggling for pace at the end there, but the crew’s done a good job all weekend to have the car unload off the truck well and take three wins.”
Chris Anthony was complimentary of the pacey Victorian: “Tim had great pace all weekend. We struggled in Qualifying, and in Race 2, but it was fixed for Race 3, and we’ve got some good data for Winton.”
Roland Legge (#8 PowerTx R-Tek Motorsport Dallara-Mercedes) finished third for the round, after a tough weekend where pace was hard to find at stages. “We were pretty up and down all weekend. It was a great effort to finish in third. I’m looking forward to Winton where it’ll suit our car [over the low drag Macrow F307.]”
Cameron Shields’ (#73 McDonalds Gilmour Racing Dallara-Mercedes) first time at the circuit was a success, taking the National Class win over Nathan Kumar (#8 Bluechip Taxation R-Tek Motorsport Dallara-Mercedes).
“It was our first time on the track, and we progressively got closer to the pace despite the weather. I’m looking forward to coming back in September, but I’m told there’s more rain then. Thanks to Errol and the team for the result.”
Teams were greeted with dry conditions for both races today.
Legge started on pole for Race 2 by virtue of his 4th position in Race 1, followed by Trent Shirvington (#3 Quicksilver Team BRM Mygale-Mercedes), Anthony and Race 1 winner Macrow.
Shirvington got the best of the start to cover Legge, with Anthony’s rocket start putting him side by side with Legge into the first corner behind Shirvington. Anthony then shot to the lead at turn 2 with an ambitious passing move on the Quicksilver driver for the lead.
Shirvington held off Legge and Macrow through lap 1 allowing Anthony to catch a break by the end of lap one. Legge drafted Shirvington to take P2 into turn 1 on lap 2, with Macrow following through at the Hayshed.
Macrow went side by side with Legge into turn 1 on lap three, completing a brave overtake on the inside of turn 2. Macrow immediately set sail for Anthony, catching him within 3 laps before completing the pass on lap 7 and taking the victory by 4.2 seconds.
Shirvington finished third, passing both Shields and then catching and passing Legge after his car setup went away towards the final lap, Shirvington completed the pass under braking at MG.
Shields also got Legge on the final corner to finish fourth, followed by Legge and Nathan Kumar.
Race 3’s starting line-up saw Macrow start the 15-lapper ahead of Anthony. Macrow got the best of the start followed by Anthony and Legge, who just couldn’t make a move stick coming into turn 2.
Coming out of turn 2, Trent Shirvington ran wide on the grass, running out of room after running side by side with Cameron Shields. Shirvington saved the car, but it was stuck on the verge requiring the Safety Car.
The restart presented Anthony’s best chance of victory. Needing to beat Macrow by 5 seconds after a false-start penalty to take victory, Anthony was unable to overtake the Victorian at turn 1, and despite continued pressure during the race, was consigned to second place.
Cameron Shields continued to show his rapid rate of development, overtaking Roland Legge at Turn 4 on the restart and maintaining the position to take outright third by 1.3 seconds. Nathan Kumar finished 5th and minimised the damage in the National Class title race.
Macrow extends his Premier Series lead to 19 points over Anthony, but the title fight is long from over. The general belief is Macrow’s F307 is best suited to Phillip Island, and the F311’s will be closer to the front at Winton in two weeks time where the high-downforce cars will have the advantage over Macrow’s F307. In the National Class, Cameron Shields now leads Nathan Kumar by 11 points.