Next Race: Wakefield NSW

28th July 2004:

Chris Gilmour works hard at Eastern Creek, July 16-18 2004:

This was Chris Gilmour's first visit to Eastern Creek. Chris spent Friday's first practice session learning his lines and braking points without pushing overly hard for lap times. The news from the team was a new engine having been fitted into the rear of the Dallara F301 that they feel would strengthen their chances in the championship fight. Gilmour ended the half hour session in fifth place with a time of 1m27.469s.

Having learnt the track in the first session, the second practice session was spent concentrating on the car setup for Saturday qualifying. The team mainly altered the gear ratios, and Chris finished with the second fastest time, lapping the 3.93km circuit in 1m26.397s. Karl Reindler of Team BRM led both sessions.

Chris reported that the car felt good for race one qualifying, but the car was still lacking optimal pace from the gear ratios. In 13 laps Gilmour posted a best time of 1m25.044s. The time was only good enough to place him in third on the grid for race one, behind Karl Reindler on pole and Ian Dyk in second.

Between the two sessions the team tweaked the setup, and Chris felt that it was improved. Chris' best time was 1m26.082s, which again was only good enough to place him third behind Reindler in first and Dyk in second. In post-qualifying scrutineering Ian Dyk's car was found to have an airbox irregularity, and was relegated to last on the grid for race two. This promoted Gilmour to second place on the grid.

Race 1:
At the beginning for the first race Gilmour got a solid start off the line, and kept his third position behind Reindler and Dyk. On the second lap Dyk fell off the circuit, and Chris was able to pass him for second place. But on the third lap their positions swapped again, and Dyk retook second place. For the next seven laps Chris stayed behind Dyk positioning himself to try a last lap pass. His plans were thwarted when the header pipe cracked. The car was slow to put down power out of the corners and Chris lost contact with Dyk. Gilmour's car problems were compounded on the second last lap when a fuel and electrical gremlin crept in, and the car went well and truly off the pace. John Pettit seized the opportunity and took away Gilmour's third position. Chris ended the race in fourth position, barely ahead of Aaron Caratti. This was the first time that he has not finished on the podium this year, nevertheless fourth position added 10 points to his championship haul.

Race 2:
When the second race got underway, Chris Gilmour had a brilliant start from second place, passing Karl Reindler for the lead. Reindler had the extra pace on Gilmour nearly the entire weekend, so it was no surprise when he found a way past Chris on the second lap. Ian Dyk also had pace, and he too passed Gilmour at turn 9. For the following laps Chris held a loose rein on Dyk keeping him within striking distance. He did not have to worry about trying to find a way past though, as on the second last lap Dyk spun at the same corner he got past Gilmour, and once again Chris found himself in second place behind Reindler. This time he did not encounter car problems, and Gilmour finished the twelve-lap event back on the podium and in second position picking up 15 points.

Chris Gilmour leaves Eastern Creek retaining the championship lead, albeit with a slightly smaller points gap. Dyk's error in the second race left him finishing in sixth position, and after ending behind Reindler in the first race, he has lost his second place in the standings to Reindler. After picking up full points from Eastern Creek, Reindler was able to close the gap to 12 points. Chris Gilmour leads on 159 points, Reindler 147 and Dyk 137.

The next round of the 2004 Australian Formula 3 Championship is held at Wakefield Park, August 6-8. Chris has been to the circuit previously in a Formula 3 car last year, and enjoys the track. Because of his track knowledge, the team will not have to sacrifice track time to learn the circuit, and they look forward to the round feeling confident, despite not being able to test.

Gilmour Racing would like to thank PM Lubricants, Identity Plus Embroidery, Revolution Racegear, Gawler Farm Machinery, Gilmour Developments and last but not least Team BRM whom through a very sporting gesture they allowed Gilmour Racing to use a header pipe, which helped Chris to make it to the starting line of the final race on Sunday.



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