Next Race: Winton

19th May 2004:

A weekend of rewards as Gilmour Racing blitzes the field at Sandown

2004 Australian F3 Championship Round 3 Sandown Round Report - Darius Koreis

A fantastic weekend of racing at the third round of the Australian Formula 3 Championship saw two stunning race victories by Chris Gilmour of Gilmour Racing. The young Queenslander was able to secure his second round win in a row and third race win in a row, which in turn allows him to take a strong lead in the championship ahead of the forth round of the championship at Winton Raceway.

Before Friday practice had began, the single-car team and their driver Chris Gilmour had never turned a wheel at the quick Sandown circuit. Team manager Errol Gilmour described the track as not being technically difficult to drive, but difficult to learn with the number of bumps scattered around the circuit. As a result Chris Gilmour had a quiet session, learning the circuit and compiling setup data for the team. For the second practice session Gilmour Racing changed the ratio on the second gear of the car, however handling problems meant that Chris was unable to get good drive out of the forth corner and onto the back straight. After a quick alteration to the setup Chris found greater pace.
Both the improvement in the car, and the extra experience on the track allowed Chris to drop his fastest lap time substantially. At the conclusion of the second 30-minute session Gilmour lay in second position timed at 1:10.4611, only one tenth of a second behind Astuti Competition's Ian Dyk.

Chris Gilmour's lengthy time on the track on Friday paid dividends in the first qualifying session on Saturday morning. Leading into the session Chris felt the setup was strong with good balance, and the team were confident of a strong showing. Unfortunately that did not show early on his lap times, and he lay in fifth position for the majority of the session. It was not until Gilmour's final lap that he was able to snatch pole by half a tenth of a second from Team BRM driver Karl Reindler, taking his second pole position of the year. Gilmour scorched around the Sandown layout in 1:09.5453, only a fraction slower than the standing lap record. Dyk mistimed his final run, and not being able to complete a final flying lap he was left in third position.

Gilmour Racing left the car unchanged for the afternoon qualifying session. Gilmour's quickest lap was almost identical to that of his race one pole time, however it was not enough to beat the hard charging Ian Dyk. Dyk came up with a time of 1:09.3548 to go under the lap record, and beat Gilmour's time by two tenths of a second. Chris was still able to comfortablystart race two from second position on the grid, ahead of Aaron Caratti.

Race one began on a sombre note with the front row of the grid left empty as a mark of respect for Bruce Cary who passed away from cancer. Gilmour nailed the start of the race, clearing the first corner in the lead, ahead of Daniel Pappas in second and Karl Reindler in third. While Reindler, Pappas and Dyk fought amongst themselves it was Gilmour with the clear track. The track was cold, and it took time for the tyres to heat up, but once they did it was clear sailing for the Spiess Opel powered Dallara F301. Gilmour concentrated at first on building a buffer between himself and the next three drivers, and once that was achieved keeping his gap consistent. Chris Gilmour came through on his final lap to take the chequered flag in style. Three seconds separated himself and the two men who completed the podium, Daniel Pappas and Karl Reindler.

Rain threatened at the start of the second race. Gilmour read the track well and rocketed off the start, while Dyk got bogged down on the damp surface. Chris rounded out the first lap and was able to look behind
him and see the situation. "I knew what I had to do, and that was to go hard for the first three or four laps," he said afterwards. A light rain began to fall onto the track, but Gilmour was unmoved by this, maintaining his first position. Using the same guideline as in the race one, Chris pulled a comfortable lead and took the chequered flag for his third career victory. Finishing three seconds behind was John Pettit in second, and Karl Reindler in third. Along with the victory, Gilmour had the fastest lap of the race, being the only driver to break into the 1:10 minute barrier,
again netting 21 points towards his Championship tally.
Understandably, the team manager Errol Gilmour was ecstatic with the round result. "To see something that you work on so hard go out there, and be driven so well, this really makes you feel good." Chris Gilmour
finished round two at Oran Park equal with Ian Dyk on 60 points. After so convincingly winning the third round, Gilmour now heads to Winton holding 102 points, with a lead of 23 points over Dyk, and 25 points over third place man, Karl Reindler.
The Gilmour Racing crew would like to once again thank all of the team's sponsors - PM Oils, Identity Plus, Revolution Racegear, Gawler Farm Machinery and Gilmour Developments. Without their support the
fantastic race victories at Sandown would not have been possible.

Please contact Errol Gilmour at 0418 788448 for additional information.

 

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