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Jun 21, 2014 - 05:58 AM
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Hodge, Patterson star in Formula 3 Darwin Opener
Posted by: newsla on Jun 21, 2014 - 05:58 AM
Support Series News
Hodge, Patterson star in Formula 3 Darwin Opener

HE DID NOT have things all his own way, but Simon Hodge has moved back into the outright championship lead in the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship thanks to a race one victory in Darwin.


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The Team BRM Mygale driver started from pole position following a dominant performance in qualifying however lost the start to thanks to a stunning race start by Garnett Patterson.

The New South Wales state champion had qualified his family-run F307 Dallara second in qualifying earlier in the day and led the field into turn one, leading the first two laps of the race before Hodge was able to work his way past.

The BRM Mygale was never headed with the Adelaide driver leading home Patterson and Ben Gersekowski in today’s 12-lap opening affair.
The win boosts Hodge back into the championship lead that he held across the opening two rounds of the series, though the margin is close.

“It’s nice to be back in front, but it’s a bit early to relax so we will be continuing to push on as hard as we can,” he said.

“Garnet got a great start and I got caught out a bit by being on the dirty side of the track. It’s a credit to him because he drove very well.

“I followed him for a couple of laps and made sure that we had patinence before I made a move. He ran wide a few times before I was able to get him on the straight and get in front.

“It’s a good win and I’m looking forward to fighting on tomorrow.”

Patterson’s second position outright was a strong result, though more importantly it also netted him maximum Forpark Australia National class points in the absence of class leader Chelsea Angelo this weekend.

He said his small family-run team had made great strides with their car following a recent test prior to heading north to Darwin.

“We’ve worked really hard and Mum and Dad have put a lot into this to get some new bits on the car following Bathurst,” Patterson explained.

“We really struggled yesterday (in practice) and I stayed up late last night doing a lot of work trying to make us quicker. We changed a lot of things on the car and it made it a lot better for today. I got a great start and even though Hodge was too quick it was a great race.

“It’s great to capitalise on Chelsea missing this round but even better to get this great result.”

Ben Gersekowski finished third in the McDonald’s Gilmour Racing Dallara, still recovering from a crash in qualifying that caused damage to the front of his car.

Gersekowski qualified third and ran a quiet race in the same position, finishing ahead of Chris Anthony and Arrie Maree – who diced for much of the race today.

Anthony survived a wild off-road ride en route to his solid finish in fourth – third of the championship class cars – today that saw him slip wide at turn ten and bounce across the gravel before recovering the car and holding off Maree to the finish.

Roland Legge finished sixth in his National Class debut, Ricky Capo was seventh while Dennie Rumble and Roman Krumins battled for eighth and ninth for much of the opening race.

A further two races will conclude the fourth round of the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship tomorrow, including the prestigious 14-lap City of Darwin Cup race on Sunday afternoon.

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