Gilmour continues to extend his lead.
QueenslandÕs Chris Gilmour has continued to dominate in the latest round of the Australian National Class Formula 3 Championship. Round five of the championship and Gilmour Racing headed to ChrisÕs favourite circuit, Phillip Island. Chris Gilmour dominated with a Stella performance with a 2nd place in race one and 1st place in race two, while also recording the fastest lap in both races. This has enabled Chris to extend his points lead in the race to the 2008 National Class Formula 3 Championship.
Practice one and two experienced some typical Phillip Island conditions, Wet, Cold and windy; however in both sessions the track was drying. It was hard for Gilmour to get into the groove with a half wet circuit although he was still able to put in some quick laps in the dying minutes of the practice session. His efforts placed him 2nd and 3rd quickest in the two practice sessions on Friday.
Qualifying one was a gamble with tyre choice as rain had hit the track during the early morning, however the team decided on slicks and it was the right move. Not being at the test session the week before, it was GilmourÕs first dry run of the weekend. During the session Gilmour kept knocking his times down with each lap getting quicker as he settled into the track, by the end of the session Gilmour was in 4th position.
GilmourÕs time was a massive 1.8 sec of 2007 Champion Tim Macrow. So with some changes to the car after qualifying one, the team hit the track for qualifying two hoping for a better result. During the day more rain had fallen and it again started to fall lightly just as the cars went out on track. Chris had a window of about two laps to punch out a quick lap time, but unfortunately he was stuck in traffic on his second lap, consequently it was his quickest lap of the session as heavy rain fell and stopped the session early. Gilmour ended the qualifying session in 3rd position behind Macrow & Tate. Ō What a bad session that was, every oneÕs fastest lap was their out lap so itÕs really was hard to judge how we are against the other cars but everyone was in the same situation so I will just have to get a good race start on SundayĶ Gilmour said.
Race one – Gilmour got off the line with a great start picking up four positions before turn one placing him just behind Tate and Farrell. Gilmour struggled early in the race to get some heat into his Kumho tyres and was trying to hold the gap that Farrell and Tate had pulled early on in the race. On lap five Gilmour was passed by Macrow relegating Gilmour back to 4th position, then on the next lap the safety car was deployed to pick up a stranded car on the track. On the re-start Gilmour was able to hold onto the leaders, going into Lukey Heights Macrow spun trying to pass Farrell for 2nd position. Gilmour narrowing missing the spinning car moved into 3rd position. Three corners later coming onto the start / finish straight Justin TateÕs engine blew, through the engine smoke Gilmour emerged right on the back off Farrell. Slip streaming down the main straight Gilmour moved into the lead with one lap to go. By turn two Gilmour had pulled a small gap on Farrell and was on his way to victory, until coming on the main straight Gilmour hit the oil that was left from TateÕs engine blow up which slowed his car to keep it on the track allowing Farrell to slip stream past Gilmour to the finish line.
Chris Gilmour lost the race by the shortest time in Formula 3 history by a minor 0.005 of a second. Both cars crossed the line together and it was only after looking at the time sheet was a winner established. ŌWhat a race, to be in 4th for most of the race and then to be leading on the last lap, then to throw it away by hitting the oil, IÕm so angry with myself but I couldnÕt see where the oil patch was, its hard at over 200kmh sometimes, but I did post fastest lap of the race so thatÕs a bonusĶ.
Race two – Again Gilmour got a great start slipping straight in behind Farrell, and on the second lap Gilmour slipped past Farrell on the outside of the main straight to take the lead. From there Gilmour continued to push hard and pulled a gap on the rest of the field. On the third lap the safety car was deployed as there was some carnage on turn two. On the re start Gilmour broke away from the pack and didnÕt look back, pulling a 4 sec gap by the end of the race and also taking out the fastest lap of the race.
Gilmour recorded his fourth win of the season from nine races and extended his points lead to 43 points. ŌThe car felt great, the team gave me the perfect race setup that allowed me to just drive away from field, itÕs a great feeling just to drive away from the others and control the raceĶ
Chris Gilmour now holds the Championship lead, 43 points clear of Lee Farrell and 96 Points clear of third place Matthew Radisich. With 3 rounds to go the team are off to Eastern Creek in mid July, and the team will be looking to extend their lead in the 2008 National Class Formula 3 Championship.
Chris Gilmour would like to thank his sponsors for their continued support:
Identity Plus, Hutcheon & Pearce at Wagga Wagga, Albury,Temora, Cowra & Parkes, Chesterfield Australia at Warren, Dubbo, Moree, Goondiwindi, Yatala, Acacia Ridge, A & G Machinery P/L at Griffith, Hutcheon A & G P/L at Narrandera and Finley and SharpeÕs Tractor Centre at Rutherford & Taree, PM Lubricants, Revolution Race gear Brisbane, Graphic Dak photos & All Properties Group. We would like to thank each of you for your valued and important .