NATHAN MORCOM has conquered Mount Panorama Bathurst in the most challenging of conditions to take the opening round of the Formula 3 Australian Drivers’ Championship this weekend.
Morcom, driving his #6 R-Tek Motorsport / Rondo / DPO Dallara F307 Mercedes, caught and passed early race leader James Winslow in wet conditions this morning to take the victory in round one’s feature race, giving him an early leg up in the championship standings.
Winslow finished second and actually leads the standings – though he won’t race for the remainder of the year.
Morcom’s drive in the wet conditions was controlled and measured and resulted in his maiden Formula 3 race win, despite dramas unfolding around his orange and black Dallara.
Rain just before the start made the race a lottery and allowed only eight of the scheduled 13 laps to be completed – but for Morcom, a win is a win.
“It feels great to win at this circuit in particular, but also at a place where my Dad (Production Car racer, Barry) has won at before as well,” he said.
“The goal was to come here and get a good start to our championship campaign and to be able to do that, and get a win as well, is a bonus.
“Today’s race was fantastic and the car was sensational in the wet conditions. I was able to pass Winslow and pull away from there and it was great to get to the flag first.
“It’s a great start to the championship and I have to thank all of our sponsors and the R-Tek team.”
Winslow was second, ruing another opportunity missed to snare the elusive Bathurst lap record he so wants – thanks to the wet conditions.
The British driver was earlier cleared of the race one clash with Steel Guiliana whilst dicing for the lead in yesterday’s race, locking away his 30th career Australian F3 race victory.
Nick Foster took his brand new Mygale M08 to third place today, his second Bathurst podium in as many years.
After only qualifying 10th and working his way to 7th yesterday, Foster flew in the wet conditions today and chased team-mate Winslow for much of today’s race, finishing narrowly behind and scoring the first podium for the 2008-specification Mygale chassis.
Steel Guiliana was the fastest car on track and finished fourth, John Magro fifth in his Team BRM Dallara.
Gilmour Racing’s Arrie Maree won the Forpark National Class for the weekend, taking his second win from as many starts in today’s race.
Maree took maximum class points this weekend and will take a healthy class lead into the second round of the series in Tasmania next weekend, in his #16 Dallara.
His sixth outright today placed him one ahead of Fujitsu racer Todd Hazelwood, Nick McBride, Jack LeBrocq and Ben Gersekowski completing the top 10.
Polesitter Jack LeBrocq stalled his Erebus Academy Mygale and ended up at the back of the field, recovering to ninth position.
Gersekowski had run strong inside the top three earlier in the race before an ‘off’ at the Dipper dropped him back down the order to score the final championship point of the day.
The day’s biggest victim was Jon Collins, who backed his R-Tek Dallara into the wall at turn two, bringing out the Safety Car.
Collins emerged unscathed from the incident though his car was significantly worse for wear, his team set to face a race against time to try and repair it for Tasmania.
Hayden Cooper, following his crash yesterday, failed to take the start.
The second round of the Formula 3 Australian Drivers’ Championship for the CAMS Gold Star will be held in just a few days time, at Symmons Plains Raceway in Tasmania.
For more information head to www.formula3.com.au