Macrow Wins F3, Evans Closes In
24/10/2010 at 7:55am

TIM MACROW took the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship back to 2007 at Melbourne’s Sandown Raceway today by winning the first of three races in style.

In a one-off round, the 2007 Gold Star winner has reassembled the crew that helped him during his title year for this weekend and the results were immediate.

After earlier taking his seventeenth career Formula 3 pole position with a stunning run in the Meguiar’s Quick Six Shootout, Macrow got a perfect start and led the brief, 7-lap duration in today’s sprint race to take a storming victory.

Title protagonists Mitch Evans, Ben Barker and Tom Tweedie had mixed results, Evans storming to second whilst Tweedie and Barker staged a massive battle for fourth and fifth place, with Barker eventually coming out on top.

The results see Evans close the margin to barker in the championship just five points.

Macrow, however, only had eyes for the victory today.

“I got a great start and the rest of it was just like being back in 2007!” he grinned.

“It was an awesome race. We’ve taken a lot of wing out of the thing to make sure we have the edge on the straight and that helped us. Mitch (Evans) was better across the top and on the run into Dandenong road, but we had good power down and keep him behind.

“I’m really pleased, especially after I crashed yesterday in practice. The guys worked late to get it right and when we rolled out for Qualifying it was absolutely perfect.”

Evans was satisfied with second, suggesting that both he and Barker have strong pace aboard their Team BRM Dallara’s.

“My start was average and I had to defend second place from Tom pretty quickly,” Evans said.

“I had good pace and set some quick laps but Tim drove really, really well. On lap four I had a bit of a moment at Dandenong road and lost a lot of time so from there I knew I wouldn’t be able to have a run at Tim.

“I knew we needed (the bonus point for) fastest lap so I concentrated on clean, quick laps at the end and even though I got some traffic I just got it, so that was excellent.

“I’m looking forward to tomorrow. I think if both Ben and I can get in clean air we will be able to show how good these cars really are.”

Chris Gilmour lived up to his ‘gun start’ reputation by flying off the line to hold second place for a brief moment, whilst Evans and Tweedie battled into turn one.

He was relegated to third by Evans in turn one but raced competitively from there, finishing in the same position to continue his good podium run of late.

Barker was fourth, now facing a slightly reduced margin to Evans ahead of tomorrow’s two races. Barker and Tom Tweedie staged a mighty battle for the position all race, Tweedie holding on to the spot until just a few laps to go.

Josh Burdon was an excellent sixth, ahead of Zhang Shan Qi, Ben Gersekowski, Graeme Holmes, Roman Krumins and John Boothman.

Bryce Moore failed to finish after ending his raced beached in the sand at Dandenong Road Corner on lap five.

Earlier, in an enthralling session, Macrow was fastest in the preliminary stage of qualifying before banging in a stunning lap in the Meguiar’s Quick Six to take the top spot.

The three title contenders started just behind the 2007 winner, Mitch Evans second, Tom Tweedie third and current series leader Ben Barker fourth.

Evans’ second place time was four-tenths off Macrow’s best, though the young New Zealander was up on the fastest time on his last lap before a miscue cost him a chance at pole.

Tom Tweedie only made the cut with seconds to go after he suffered a puncture in the early stages of the session, but it was Tasmanian youngster Josh Burdon who was the hard luck case.

Burdon was bumped from the Quick Six after the flag had fallen after a storming lap from Chris Gilmour bumped the R-Tek Dallara From the field.

Tomorrow will feature two races, one 10 laps and one 15, to decide the 2010 Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship for the CAMS Gold Star.
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