|Joey Foster and Mitch Evans create a weekend for the record books
By: F3 Media Release Date: 29/11/2009 at 4:15:50 PM
| IN A HISTORY MAKING WEEKEND, Joey Foster and Mitch Evans have created Formula 3 Australian Drivers’ Championship history at Sandown Raceway in Melbourne; a dramatic turn of events delivering Foster the championship and Evans the F3 SuperPrix season finale’.
Foster turned a three-point deficit to a seven-point victory in the Australian Drivers’ Championship today by winning race one and finishing second in the SuperPrix event, to seal the first ever back-to-back titles for Team BRM and complete a remarkable recovery from serious injury’s sustained in Germany several years ago.
15-year-old Mitch Evans, meanwhile, became the youngest ever winner of an Australian Formula 3 and Gold Star race as he flew to a stunning victory in wet conditions in this afternoons 22-lap F3 SuperPrix.
In the space of just a few seasons Cornwall (UK) driver Foster has gone from a badly broken back after an F3 crash on a German Superspeedway, to winning Australia’s premier Open-Wheel award and today accepted the Australian Drivers Championship title and the status as a CAMS Gold Star winner.
With James Winslow winning in 2008, It was the first time in Gold Star history that British drivers have won the title in consecutive years, the first time a Team BRM driver has won it in consecutive years and a remarkable result in a season that saw the remarkably evenly matched Foster and Tim Macrow win seven races each.
“When you look back three or four years ago, to where I was, it feels amazing to be here today as a championship winner,” Foster said.
“It has been an incredible season. Thanks go to the team because they have done a great job all year and it’s fantastic to be able to deliver them back-to-back titles for the first time. Tim (Macrow) has been a great rival all year and it’s been good to have such a close fight all season long. It’s been hugely challenging and the year had its ups and downs, but it’s all come together today.
“I’m very relieved, happy and looking forward to celebrating this one!” he said.
Tim Macrow finished second in the championship after struggling for straight-line speed this weekend, finishing second in race one this morning and fourth in the SuperPrix.
In his customary fighting and aggressive style the Victorian-based 2007 Gold Star winner did what he could but his car lacked the outright punch of the Team BRM Dallara’s at Sandown today. Macrow finishes his third full season in the Gold Star as the series most successful driver ever, with 14 race wins and more than 35 career podiums to his credit.
15-year-old New Zealander Mitch Evans, a standout in Formula Fords this year, trailed teammate Foster and Macrow’s Scud Racing Dallara in the early stages of the SuperPrix before a bold and adventurous move saw him tow up behind Macrow mid-race and pass him for second.
He then set about chasing down Foster and managed to slip by the would-be champion with just a few laps remaining.
Evans then maintained his composure to lead Foster home for a Team BRM 1-2 in an exciting race, Mat Sofi passing Macrow just two laps from home to finish the SuperPrix third after starting from pole position.
The race was held in challenging conditions, rain falling before the start and then again during the race making life difficult for the field. Several drivers were caught up in the conditions and the race was segmented by a pair of safety car periods.
At 15, Evans has again written himself into the record books and accepted the John Bowe Trophy – presented to the SuperPrix winner each year – from outgoing Formula 3 board member James Rosenberg.
“It’s quite an honour to accept this trophy and to know I’ve won a race in the Gold Star,” Evans said.
“It was a challenging race but I actually felt more confident in the heavier conditions than when it wasn’t as wet so I was feeling fairly confident. I was careful when I was getting past Joey as I didn’t want to make contact with a team mate and from there I was able to hold on and win the race.
“I’m really pleased and the team have done an awesome job, so thanks to them for their work. It’s been a great weekend.”
Behind today’s winners there were mixed stories from Sandown, several having up and down weekends that either ended well or below expectations.
TanderSport were one to have a mixed day, Ben Crighton showing plenty of pace in the first race to record his first ever fastest lap – despite slipping down the order after a lap one spin.
West Aussie driver Bryce Moore’s stunning F3 debut was perhaps overshadowed by that of Evans, however the driver of TanderSport’s National Class car did plenty to impress this weekend including winning the National Class in the F3 SuperPrix.
Tom Tweedie – already the National Class champ – won race one this morning to end his season having 12 class wins to his credit.
Kristian Lindbom was another to have an impressive F3 debut, finishing second in class on both occasions.
Full Championship Points:
2009 Formula 3 Australian Drivers’ Championship
1. Joey Foster (Team BRM) 265
2. Tim Macrow (Scud Racing) 257
3. Mat Sofi (Astuti Motorsport / AmPro tools) 192
4. Ben Crighton (TanderSport) 151
F3 National Class
1. Tom Tweedie (Team Tom) 288
2. Graeme Holmes (GKH Powdercoating) 116
3. Jesse Wakeman (Chooks Custom Graphix) 116
4. Chris Gilmour (Gilmour Racing) 93
National “B” Class
Peter Kalpakiotis (Scud Racing) 77