Eastern Creek 2011



Eastern Creek

It may have been the first ‘official’ day of on-track action at Eastern Creek for round four of the Shannons Nationals presented by Hi-Tec Oils, however for many teams, it was day two of a four day festival that sees more than 200 competitors across ten classes; a Nationals record.

And the records haven’t stopped there..
“Apart from a couple of classes, in many cases these are record fields at Eastern Creek for the Nationals,” Series Director Rob Curkpatrick admitted.
On track to the records started to fall, with the most anticipated of them being the outright Formula 3 qualifying record set in 2008 by Nathan Caratti at 1:29.1.
Returning local F3 pilot Mat Sofi in the end smashed the qualifying lap record by almost a full second en-route to taking pole position for round three of the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship.

Sofi’s quick time (1:22.2958) was set moments before a red flag ended the session, to take his third career pole position and mark his comeback to the series in the best possible fashion.
John Magro was second (1:22.7902) with points leader James Winslow just edging out his new title rival - Chris Gilmour - for fourth place.

Sofi, however, was stunned at the performance of his #2 Astuti Motorsport Dallara.
“I would never have thought we would have done anything like that kind of time,” he said after the session.
“We thought it would be quick with the newer tyres and the preparation that we put in – but that is way beyond what we ever expected these cars would achieve here. It’s incredible.”

Steel Guiliana and Ben Gersekowski, contenders for the $50,000-to-win Forpark Australia Scholarship this year, were surprise inclusions into the Quick Six after a stunning effort in qualifying.
Guiliana, however, did not emerge unscathed after crashing his R-Tek Dallara at turn eight in the final minute of the session whilst on a quick lap.

Another big name to be behind where he expected was Bryce Moore, who missed the Quick Six when his car failed to fire on his second run in the first part of qualifying after he pitted to assess a shift-cut issue. The opening session of the day saw him strike the wall at the exit of turn eight in a move that was all but mirrored by team-mate Guiliana later in the day.

Chris Gilmour was happy with the weekend racing, finishing all three races with a third in each race lifting his overall standing in the Australian Formula 3 Championship to second place.

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