Gilmour's Home Run
2005 Australian F3 - Gilmour Racing - Round 4 Queensland Raceway Report
Written by Darius Koreis

Gilmour Racing ran on home turf last weekend in round 4 of the 2005 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship at Queensland Raceway.

Finishing fifth and fourth in the races, the halfway point of the championship was the most successful round of the season for Gilmour Racing, collecting 18 points. The teams driver, Chris Gilmour, momentarily jumped into fourth place in the championship, but was re-taken, and continues to sit in fifth place.

At this point the team does not have the money needed to compete in round 5 of the championship. If you could help support Gilmour Racing, please contact Errol or Chris Gilmour. Contact details provided below.

Friday's first practice session was used primarily as a shakedown to make sure everything was running properly on the car. Although the team knew the track well, they decided to experiment with a few settings in the cars setup, and see if they could gain a little extra time around the 3.1 kilometre circuit. Chris Gilmour completed 23 laps of the track in the first session, more than any other competitor, and finished with a best lap time of 1:07.575min, which was the third fastest practice time.

In the afternoon session the team again played around with the setup, changing wing, suspension and gear settings. Completing 21 laps, Gilmour set a best time that was marginally faster than his first session time, a 1:07.524min tour. Chris was again placed third in the session standings. The young Queenslander later commented that the car was struggling out of the corners, but generally the car felt good and he was happy with the outcome of the day.

At the beginning of the first qualifying session, which decided the grid for race 1, the car felt good, but the lap times were not fast enough. Chris Gilmour pulled into pit lane in the middle of the session and the team changed the wing settings, and Chris got back to business. The change enabled him to improve a couple tenths of a second. Gilmour set a fastest lap of 1:06.847min, a marked improvement over his practice times, and Chris was confident of a strong result. However he was surprised to find that he had qualified in sixth place, expecting to be much higher. He would start race 1 from the outside of the third row.

Ahead of the second qualifying session the Gilmour Racing crew changed the bump on the rear spring which allowed Chris to get the power down through the tyres better. Chris set a best lap time of 1:07.303min, which was slower than in the first session, but considering the different track conditions, was very respectable. The time placed Gilmour in fourth place on the race 2 grid, on the second row. The team was encouraged by the fact that while the car did not have blistering pace, the speed that it did have was very consistent, and did not change over the length of a long run on the track, which boded well for the pair of 17-lap races on Sunday.

Race 1:
Chris Gilmour got a good start to the first race, jumping from sixth to fifth passing, passing Sam Abay. For the half a dozen laps, Gilmour was able to keep up with the drivers ahead of him. However, Chris was struggling understeer, he was fighting a losing battle; the four drivers ahead of him slipped slowly away. Sam Abay was trailing closely behind Gilmour until the ninth lap, when Abay ran off the track, and Gilmour was left in a comfortable fifth position. The best news of the race came when Chris crossed the line, picking up 8 points for fifth, and jumping ahead of Michael Caruso into fourth place in the championship standings.

Race 2:
Gilmour got a good initial start when the lights went out, but got bogged down under acceleration. This allowed Chris Alajajian to pass Gilmour in the run to the first corner. However, at the first corner Gilmour passed Tim Macrow, moving himself back into fourth position. Macrow slotted behind Gilmour through the second corner, and slipstreamed him down the longest straight, and passed Chris under brakes into the third corner, moving Gilmour down to fifth. For over a dozen laps Gilmour trailed Macrow, who was closely following Michael Trimble. On lap 15 Macrow passed Trimble at the fourth corner, which allowed Chris Gilmour to catch up and get a run on Trimble on the exit of turn five, and passing him in the run for the final corner, and taking fourth position. For the remaining couple of laps Gilmour followed Macrow, but had no opportunity to pass, and finished the race in fourth position.

Chris Gilmours fourth position in the championship was short-lived. By finishing ahead of Gilmour in race 2, Macrow was able to jump ahead of Gilmour by a single point, demoting Gilmour back into fifth place in the championship standings. With half the season now run, Chris Gilmour lays on 60 points, having gained 18 points at Queensland.

Gilmour Racing now needs to find extra funding to be able to compete in the next round of the championship. The horrifying crash at Melbourne in support of the Australian Grand Prix, in which Chris was T-boned into the side of the cockpit, required the replacement of the tub; stretching the teams finances to its maximum.

Hopefully Gilmour Racing will find the money needed to race in round 5 the 2005 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship, which will be held at Eastern Creek on July 22-24.

For their support, Gilmour Racing would like to thank Identity Plus, PM Lubricants, Revolution Racegear and Gilmour Developments.








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