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Apr 20, 2014 - 03:55 AM
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Double Bathurst Win For Anthony As Lap Record Tumbles
Posted by: newsla on Apr 20, 2014 - 03:53 AM
Support Series News
Double Bathurst Win For Anthony As Lap Record Tumbles

CHRIS ANTHONY has swept to overall victory in the third round of the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship as Mount Panorama’s lap record got smashed throughout a stunning race in Bathurst today.


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Anthony led from pole and held out Ben Gersekowski by just 0.1s in today’s Mountain thriller, as the leading pair and third-placed Simon Hodge put on a breathtaking show that saw 1.2 seconds cut from yesterday’s benchmark.

All three drivers broke the existing mark with Hodge’s final race lap establishing a benchmark thought ‘un-gettable’ by any current national category not four years ago: 2m02.6701s.

In a race filled with pressure, Gersekowski found an impenetrable wall in Anthony for the 12-lap duration, the McDonald’s Gilmour Racing driver forced to settle for second and a now one-point championship lead over Hodge.

After his maiden win yesterday, Anthony managed the pressure today to back up his existing performance to become the third winner from three rounds this year – each driver ‘sweeping’ all the races in each round so far.

Suffice to say, Anthony didn’t mind trading his lap record for a Bathurst double victory.

“I couldn’t have imagined this in a million years,” he said.

“We got a podium at Clipsal which I was pretty happy with but I didn’t think I could take the fight up to Hodgey and Gersekowski.. so I am very surprised, very surprised. We pulled the car out of the trailer and it was brilliant from the first lap.

“No one can ever take the fact that I have been on the top of the Bathurst podium away from me. I have watched for so many years all the V8 Supercar guys stand on the top step after their race.

“I’d never been here before, I’d only ever seen it on TV, so it’s an unbelievable feeling.”

As a result of his impressive double victory and the added points weighting to the Bathurst round, Anthony also finds himself just 15 points from the lead of the Gold Star heading into the series’ halfway point in Darwin, this June.

“I didn’t realise it was that close.. Hopefully I can take the fight to them in Darwin.

“I think everyone back home will be pretty happy. I just like to represent them as best I can. It was a massive effort to come here and to reward them for their support like this is the best thing possible.”

Gersekowski assumed the title lead today but said trying to find his way past Anthony’s flying Team BRM Dallara was a challenge.

“Getting the championship lead was the ultimate goal, so we’re really happy,” he said.

“Our car was really good in the first sector and then coming into the chase and the final few corners, but he was too quick in a straight line and I couldn’t get in the tow.”

Simon Hodge was third, but was nevertheless pleased to be the fastest ever man around the Mountain.

“We honestly didn’t expect it!” he said.

“Our pace was building throughout the race and I was trying to chase the guys down in front, but then I dropped off a little bit
from their tails and that gave me the clean air I needed to press as hard as I could. As the car got better the lap times dropped and to see that time on the dash, as I crossed the line and got the checkered flag, was an amazing feeling.”

The leading trio were locked together for the opening half of the race before the leaders pulled away from Hodge in the latter stages.

Forpark Australia / Harvest Motorsport driver Arrie Maree finished a solid fourth on his return to the championship this weekend, scoring solid points and jumping to fourth in the standings in the process, despite missing the last round at Sandown.

Chelsea Angelo was fifth and scored the Forpark National Class victory, once again having to come from behind nearest rival Garnet Patterson to take the win.

Patterson made a superb start and raced into the lead before Angelo passed on lap three, eventually pulling away to establish a handy lead and take the class victory for the second time in two days.

Angelo now has a handy 129-90 point lead over Patterson in the Forpark Australia National Class thanks to her strong weekend.

After AGI Sport driver Nathan Gotch took the class honours yesterday, Roland Legge did the business in today’s Kumho Cup battle, taking the class victory. Legge and Gotch diced competitively in today’s race before the pair made contact in the chase; Gotch’s car coming out second best after both ended up off the road.

The next round of the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship will be held as part of the SKYCITY Triple Crown event at Darwin’s Hidden Valley Raceway on June 20-22.

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