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Mar 29, 2014 - 06:33 AM
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Ben Gets His Breakthrough Victory At Sandown
Posted by: newsla on Mar 29, 2014 - 06:32 AM
Support Series News
Ben Gets His Breakthrough Victory At Sandown

THE TINY TOWN of Cecil Plains, 217 kilometers inland from Brisbane and with a population of only 600 people, has a new sporting hero tonight thanks to the efforts of the latest race winner in the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship.


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Ben Gersekowski, who hails from the tiny town in Queensland’s Darling Downs, swept to his maiden race victory today in the series’ milestone 250th championship race; ending a 73-race streak without a victory.

He’s the first driver not named Gilmour to win outright for the McDonald’s-sponsored Gilmour Racing outfit and the 41st winner in Formula 3’s Australian history.

Gersekowski held out Simon Hodge in a pressure cooker race today that saw the pair exchange lap record lap after lap record in today’s 12-lap sprint.

Starting from second, Gersekowski nailed the race start and swept past polesitter Hodge before the field got into the first corner. From there, he put his head down and maintained a consistent margin right until the checkered flag.

“It’s a massive weight off my shoulders.. I’m pumped..” he said.

“I knew that the start and the first few laps were absolutely critical and I got the jump and went as hard as I could early to build a margin over Simon. I knew from experience that’s what I had to do to win the race and it was amazing that it all came together.

“(The result) shows that I can do it now, more than anything. I’ve been close for a long time and it’s great that I’ve shown that I can do it. It’s a great result for Errol and Jen Gilmour, Mark Ward from McDonalds and everyone who has helped put this program together this year.

“The phone has been running hot.. I think Dad has told the entire town already and I’m not even out of my race suit yet!”

Championship leader Hodge finished second and will return tomorrow holding Sandown’s Formula 3 lap record, his fastest lap of 1m07.4736s a full 0.9s underneath the existing benchmark.

John Magro battled his way to third place in his new Mygale, but had to work for the 31st race podium of his Formula 3 career after a slow start saw him outside the top six on the opening lap.

Using his experience and speed, the Queenslander worked his way forward, passing several cars and eventually taking advantage of an off by then third-placed Ricky Capo to slip onto the podium.

The young Victorian, fresh from Karting, was running third before he exited the track at Dandenong Road on the ninth lap, ultimately resuming in 8th position.

Chelsea Angelo won the Forpark National Class after an incredible start saw her leap from her sixth-placed starting position to as high as third outright on the opening lap.

The OzStaff Racing driver ultimately slipped behind the championship runners but finished just behind fourth-placed Chris Anthony at the end of the race, securing the class victory ahead of Garnet Patterson.

R-Tek Motorsport driver Roland Legge won the Kumho Cup battle, as both Dennie Rumble and Nathan Gotch struck issues.

Rumble’s car stalled at the start and was unable to be refired, whilst Gotch was caught up at Dandenong Road late in the race with the recovering Capo, running off the road. Legge was able to come through to take the class victory despite stalling at the start of the race and dropping well behind the field.

Earlier in the day, Simon Hodge secured his second consecutive Formula 3 pole position with a record-setting pole lap, in an abbreviated qualifying session earlier this morning.

Gersekowski was second with Chris Anthony, Ricky Capo and John Magro completing the top five.

The second round of the Formula 3 Australian drivers championship will conlcude tomorrow at Sandown Raceway with a further two races - both to be streamed live via www.thenationals.com.au.

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