Pressure off for Tweedie as Aussie readies to fight internationals
20/10/2010 at 9:52am

Australia’s lone hope for the 2010 Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship says the pressure is squarely on his rivals ahead of this weekend’s finale at Sandown Raceway.

Tom Tweedie has battled against the odds this year in an older model car and against the might of the five-time championship winning Team BRM.

Tweedie has only won three races this season – against the 14 split between Team BRM duo Mitch Evans (New Zealand) and Ben Barker (UK) – but has finished on the podium in all but two, using his consistency to remain well in the fight.

The 21-year-old from Sydney’s North believes that this, amongst other factors, places the pressure on his two international rivals in the fight for the 54th CAMS Gold Star award.

“It’s squarely on them, we’re batting above the average and achieving much more than people thought we could,” Tweedie said.

“Those two guys have a lot of pressure on them to win the title whilst we have already achieved more than we thought possible.

“They are in a team that has dominated the past two seasons and both have great records coming into the season so there is a certain level of expectation that they both should go well.

“I think we’ve upset their applecart somewhat this year by going as well as we have. It’s a testament to how well our little team has worked and how hard we are pushing to extract the most out of our car.”

Tweedie believes his Team Tom operation – the first team since 2006 to win an outright Australian F3 race using an older model car – will also benefit by only having to focus on their own performance at the weekend.

“The only people we will be worrying about at Sandown are us,” he stated.

“There is no point in us looking at them every five minutes and working out where they are. We know what we need to do to make the car go quickly so it’s only once we’re into the final race that we’ll be making sure we are in a position to win.

“They have to manage their two competing cars on either side of the garage, and keep an eye over their shoulders for us at the same time. There’s no doubt that (Team BRM) has the experience to do the job, but they have a lot on their plate at the same time.

“We’re going to Sandown to go as quickly as we possibly can. If we do that then the championship will look after itself.”

Win or lose, the second-year Formula 3 driver believes this year has been one of the most competitive on record.

“It’s been a massive fight, all season long,” he said.

“Ben, Mitch and I have changed the lead in the championship four or five times and we’ve always been pushing each other really hard. I think the fact two lap records have gone this year shows how hot the pace has been.

“The fact there are three drivers, from three nations, split by 12 points after 18 races is incredible and I’m proud that we’re in that fight representing Australia.

“It’s been great to battle those boys and the guys at BRM. Hopefully we can bring one home for Australia this week!”

A twelve car field will grid up for the final round of the 2010 F3 Australian Drivers Championship with the field boosted by some handy talent returning to the F3 hot seat.

2007 champion Tim Macrow – statistically the most successful driver in series history – will make a one-round cameo in an F304 Dallara whilst Tasmanian youngster Josh Burdon will make his third start of the year aboard an R-Tek Motorsport prepared car.

Queenslanders Chris Gilmour, Ben Gersekowski and Roman Krumins return, as do F3 veterans Graeme Holmes and John Boothman – who returns to the scene of a massive crash that 12 months ago destroyed his car.

The field features drivers from four Australian states and four nations – Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain and China.

The round will be contested over three races as part of the Shannons Nationals Motor Racing Championship season finale’ on October 23 – 24.
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