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Drama-filled sprint gives Gilmour a finale' win   
Story By: F3 Media Release  Date: 22/9/2012 at 4:02:42 PM 
CHRIS Gilmour might be farewelling the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship this weekend – but remains determined to end the year on a high.

Gilmour won the first of three races to be held this weekend at Phillip Island after a controversial penalty for then-leader James Winslow saw him penalised and sent to the back of the field post-race.

Winslow had 28 seconds – the equivalent of a drive through penalty – added to his total race time after he narrowly passed Gilmour on a race restart after an opening-lap safety car.

Winslow towed up behind Gilmour’s #1 Dallara when the Safety Car pulled in and drew alongside, but timed his run slightly too late; slipping past Gilmour by just 0.05s at the control line.

That handed Gilmour his 13th career victory and elevated Steel Guiliana to a career best-equaling second. Hayden Cooper was third; his first ever Formula 3 race podium.

“I wanted to prove to people that I can still win. We led the race early from the start and would have stayed there if not for the safety car,” Gilmour beamed.

“It’s very hard to get past when you’re second, so I’m pleased. It’s great to get another one.”

Winslow was philosophical about the tiny error that saw him relegated from first to essentially last, but had stunning speed aboard his R-Tek Motorsport Dallara.

After earlier qualifying on pole position by a comfortable margin – and only 0.2s from the qualifying record – Winslow also gave the Lap record a nudge in the race, coming within 0.1s of the four-year old mark.

Cooper’s third place overall was also the best result for a Forpark Australia National Class entry this season, bringing the BF Racing Dallara home to the strong result after earlier continuing his season-long battle with Lockie Marshall – the pair split by just 0.1s in qualifying.

Cooper’s teammate, Ben Gersekowski, didn’t have as good a day; he ended stuck in the mud at turn four on the opening lap in the incident that ultimately brought out the Safety Car.

Nathan Morcom (fifth) stalled at the start but recovered well whilst Jake Fouracre made a solid debut in the championship to finish sixth.

There was heartbreak for Sydneysider Jon Collins; he had earlier qualified brilliantly to end the 20-minute session just behind Forpark Class frontrunners Cooper and Marshall; but his car ended stuck on the grid and immobilised at the end of the formation lap and unable to continue.

The Championship will contest a further two races tomorrow to complete the seventh round of the 2012 season.
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