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Aug 1, 2016

LEGGE WINS ROUND, SHIELDS SEALS TITLE AT QR

 

Roland Legge sealed the fifth round of the 2016 Australian Formula 3 premier series without winning a race, Chris Anthony closed on title leader Tim Macrow and Cameron Shields sealed the National class title in a busy day at Queensland Raceway.

Legge took his first overall victory this weekend without actually winning a race, finishes of second, third and fourth across the trio of sprints – couple with non-finishes from several key rivals – were enough to deliver the R-Tek driver the overall trophy in a consistent performance. 

The Mackay driver has struggled for consistency this year but said racing on home turf helped the cause this weekend. 

“It’s still 1000km away from home, but it’s always good to come here,” Legge said. 

“We’ve found some consistency and that was the key to get my first overall victory, which is a great result. I put in a lot of mental effort before the round and we worked hard on what we were doing with setup and it’s paid off.

“We’re still quite a way off the championship but it all helps and there’s still a lot of racing to go.” 

Championship contender Chris Anthony rebounded from his race-one non finish by superbly storming to victory in a thrilling race two on Sunday morning before backing that up with second place in the finale’. 

Anthony started from the back row of the grid in race two however stormed his way through the field and grabbed the lead after a thrilling exchange with Legge mid-race. 

With Tim Macrow failing to finish the race – he had an axle and CV joint fail in the right rear corner of his Alpine Motorsport Dallara – it proved a healthy and much-needed points haul for the McDonald’s Gilmour Racing driver’s title campaign. 

Gilmour finished third on his return to the championship: his first podium since the 2012 season coming as he notched up his 149th Formula 3 race start. 

The Queenslander, a former champion, led the opening laps of race two before ultimately dropping back behind the championship rivals – ensuring teammate Chris Anthony scored more valuable points. 

Championship leader Tim Macrow leaves Queensland with a diminished championship margin after a difficult weekend in his Alpine Motor Sport Dallara. 

He briefly starred in race two – storming from eighth to third in a lap – before his car struck problems and forced him to spectate before three laps were done. 

However it was an incredible start that served him well race three, jumping from third to first before the first corner to take a lead he’d never ultimately lose. 

Chris Anthony and Cameron Shields both applied pressure to the double champion throughout the race, however neither could ultimately attack Macrow who edged away to record his 42nd career victory. 

Cameron Shields capped off a sparkling weekend by closing out the Formula 3 National class title with another pair of strong performances that backed up his stunning victory on Saturday. 

Shields finished second outright – behind teammate Anthony – in race two and third place in the final race to lock away the national title and entrench himself as an outright contender for the remainder of the season. 

“We came here with the goal of wrapping up the National class title so it’s great to do it,” he said on the podium. 

“It’s been a really great weekend and it’s awesome to be up there with guys like Tim and Chris. It’s great to have wrapped up the championship and now we can go into the final rounds looking to keep improving and racing with those guys.” 

Roman Krumins finished second in the National class in his return to the category, while Nathan Kumar scored zero points after failing to proceed past the first practice sessions after an engine failure. 

Shane Wilson won the Kumho Cup round with a perfect score, beating out Ross McAlpine this weekend and closing the margin in the class title race between the pair. 

Phillip Island will be the scene of the next round of the championship, this September.