ALPINE MOTOR SPORTS and Tim Macrow can complete a feat that no team has done in the history of Australian Formula 3 at Sydney Motorsport Park this weekend.
The AIE/Monster Lubricants #88 team are gunning for a clean sweep of all seven feature races in the 2016 Australian Formula 3 Premier Series, a feat that hasn’t been done in the 18 year history of the category.
After wrapping up the team’s first national title at Phillip Island in September, the aim now is focused on setting records, having a bit of fun, and preparing for 2017.
Macrow set pole and the fastest race lap on the way to taking two of the three race wins in the July round at the same venue, and only needs to find half a second to set the Formula 3 lap record, a 1:22.629 that Nick Foster set in 2013. Macrow’s pole time of 1:21.8025 is the only time an F3 has been into the 21’s at the Sydney venue.
With conditions set to be more favourable to faster race pace, that record could be broken.
“The weather forecast right now has a wet qualy and race 1 lined up, which means we could lob up for race 2 on fresh Kumho Ecsta slick tyres. Fresh tyres are worth at least a second at the grip sensitive circuit, and with the right temperature for the race there’s no doubt we can do a low 22 like we did in qualy in July.”
Competition this weekends comes from a familiar face, with McDonalds Gilmour Racing running 2015 Champion Jon Collins in their 2011-specificiation Dallara, making this weekend a battle between the reigning champion and the champion-elect.
Macrow is excited by not having the burden of the Championship chase on his shoulders. “All the top positions in the championship are decided, so it should be a straight out fight. The car performed well in July and it’ll be a great fight again Jon and Roland Legge.”
Alpine Motor Sports are already preparing for 2017, and are hoping to run in the newly established Formula A Australia Series once the final details and regulations of the series are provided and agreed upon. The series will start in January at the same venue.
“We should know which way the place goes by January with 3 rounds in 6 months. Mind you, I don’t know that there’s much data we can take from an 8:30am race on a 2-degree Sunday morning in July to the 10 Hours of Sydney on January 15!”
The “fun” aspect of the weekend will see Team Principal Dennie Rumble run the car in one or possibly two of the practice sessions on Friday, providing the stewards grant permission.
“Tim’s feedback and our team’s development have given us some great improvement over the year. The car is set up a lot better, but I want to know how much better for myself! I’m looking forward to finding out, I’ll sack the team owner if the car hasn’t improved enough!”
The #88 Dallara/Mercedes will be on track Friday for three 20 minute practice sessions. This will be followed by qualifying and race 1 on Saturday, and two races on Sunday.
Entry the circuit includes free admission to the circuit for under 12’s, and free access to the paddock, where the team can be seen working on the car in Pit Lane Garage 3 (at the control tower end of pit lane).
Sunday’s races will be live streamed at thenationals.com.au, with the round to feature later on the SBS Speedweek program.
Alpine Motor Sports is Australia’s Peak Formula 3 Team – the Australian Formula 3 Premier Series Champions for 2016. The team is supported by AIE – Advanced Instrumentation and Electrical, Monster Lubricants, and Grove Estate.
Opportunities exist for marketing partners and drivers for 2017, with the team hoping to expand to a 2-car presence. If you are interested please contact the team, or feel free to visit the team during the Sydney Motorsport Park weekend. With two drivers in two seasons coming directly from a Formula 3 car straight into Formula 1, now is the time to accelerate your career with experience in a world renowned open-wheel formula.