The Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship’s return to Mount Panorama has attracted several drivers with big reputations to race at this weekend’s Bathurst Motor Festival.
Australia’s fastest racing cars will return to the Mountain for their second attack on the hallowed 6.213km circuit in New South Wales Central West, returning the Gold Star to Bathurst as the circuit celebrates its 75th anniversary of racing this Easter.
The series has confirmed a stronger field for this year’s return and it includes some big names keen to not only claim the Bathurst trophy – but also have a crack at the highly publicised lap record the Mountain is famous for.
The Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 hour winning team, last year’s Bathurst Formula 3 winner and the current Australian Formula Ford Champion are all on the Bathurst Motor Festival entry list released today.
Last year Queensland driver Chris Gilmour set the new outright race lap record to 2m04.6187s – at an average lap speed of more than 185km/hr.
The entry list also includes 2007 champion Tim Macrow, ex-Formula Ford and Carrera Cup ace Nick Foster and 18-year-old sensation Hayden Cooper.
Defending series champion and last year’s Bathurst winner James Winslow has confirmed his return this weekend.
The British ace swept his way to last year’s title but marks his Bathurst win twelve months ago as one of his best – though the fact he didn’t achieve the lap record clearly smarts.
With his title-winning team full up, Winslow returns to Team BRM for a one-off round this weekend and will sport the famous #1 on his Dallara F307.
Meanwhile, reigning Australian Formula Ford Champion Jack LeBrocq will make his Formula 3 race debut driving a Mygale chassis for Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour winning team, Erebus Motorsport.
Entered under the outfits’ ‘Erebus Academy’ banner, LeBrocq is one of the highest-rated young Australian’s in the sport and will help bring Erebus into the wings and slicks category for the first time.
The team won a thrilling 12-hour race in February this year with their Mercedes Benz SLS AMG – some 12 Hour synergies to be apparent given their F3 ride is also Benz-powered.
At this stage only a one-off round entry, Erebus’ move to Formula 3 is exciting for the category during a growth period.
Meanwhile, leading V8 Supercars Development series ace Nick McBride will also make his Australian F3 debut, with Astuti Motorsport.
McBride returned to race in Australia this year after several seasons racing British Formula Ford and Formula 3 – and performed strongly on the streets of Adelaide in his V8 debut.
Other drivers that should contend include 2012 race winner John Magro, ‘international Aussie’ Jordan Oon, Sydney open-wheel ace Nathan Morcom and the experienced Ben Gersekowski – who is in the Bathurst lap-record setting car from last year.
The 2013 Bathurst Motor Festival will be held across the Easter long weekend, March 29-31.
Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship – Round 1 Entry List – Bathurst Motor Festival
#1 James Winslow (UK) – Team BRM Dallara F307 – Mercedes Benz (C)
#2 (TBA) – Team BRM Dallara F307 – Mercedes Benz (C)
#3 John Magro (QLD) - Team BRM / FNQ Larger Dallara F307 - Mercedes Benz (C)
#4 Jordan Oon (WA) – Team BRM Dallara F307 – Mercedes Benz (C)
#5 Nick Foster (QLD) – Team BRM / Mygale Australia Mygale M08 – Mercedes Benz (C)
#6 Nathan Morcom (NSW) – R-Tek Motorsport / Rondo / DPR / CSR Dallara F307 – Mercedes Benz (C)
#7 Steel Guiliana (NSW) – R-Tek Motorsport / Rising Discoveries Dallara F307 – Mercedes Benz (C)
#8 Todd Hazelwood (SA) – R-Tek Motorsport / Fujitsu Dallara F304 – Spiess Opel (N)
#9 Jon Collins (NSW) – R-Tek Motorsport Dallara F304 – Spiess Opel (N)
#11 Nick McBride (VIC) – Astuti Motorsport Dallara F307 – Renault (C)
#16 Arrie Marree (QLD) – Gilmour Racing Dallara F304 – Spiess Opel (N)
#17 Ben Gersekowski (QLD) – Gilmour Racing Dallara F307 – Mercedes Benz (C)
#25 Tim Macrow (VIC) – Tim Macrow Racing Dallara F307 – Mercedes Benz (C)
#36 Jack LeBrocq (VIC) – Erebus Academy Mygale MO8 – Mercedes Benz (C)
#66 Nathan Gotch (NSW) – AGI Sport Dallara F304 – Renault Sodemo (C)
#93 Hayden Cooper (QLD) – BF Racing Dallara F308 – Mercedes Benz (C)