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Aug 09, 2014 - 07:10 AM
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Race Start All That Splits Title Rivals In Queensland F3 Opener
Posted by: newsla on Aug 09, 2014 - 07:09 AM
Support Series News
Race Start All That Splits Title Rivals In Queensland F3 Opener

IN A BATTLE OF EQUALS, McDonald’s Gilmour Racing driver Ben Gersekowski was slightly more equal than rival Simon Hodge today as he swept to victory in race one, round five of the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship at Queensland Raceway.


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Gersekowski made the better start from second on the grid and led Hodge into turn one and it was that way they crossed the line 14 laps later, Gersekowski 0.5s in front of Hodge after a tense battle that simmered rather than boiled over.

There was literally nothing between the pair all race with the start the key factor in deciding who got home first.

Hodge had earlier scored pole while Gersekowski scored the bonus point for the race's fastest lap, meaning the pair are now split by just 12 points in the Gold Star standings ahead of tomorrow’s pair of races, Hodge in front.

Following a tough round in Darwin – that Hodge dominated – Gersekowski said he was pleased to bounce back to the top of the results list on Saturday in Queensland.

“It’s very satisfying. It’s a bit like Sandown where it was good to win to remind myself and everyone else that I could do it,” he said.

“Simon pressured me all the way, it was a really good race and I was certainly keeping an eye on the mirror the whole way. He was very good in the braking zones and I spent a lot of time focusing on that in the race to make sure he couldn’t pass me.

“The setup (owner / engineer) Errol put in the car was excellent and the balance was great. It started strongly and didn’t go off. Big thanks to McDonald’s and the whole team for their support. I’m lovin’ it!”

Hodge finished second and Chris Anthony third, surviving a run across the gravel on the exit of turn one that cost him an opportunity to race with the leading duo.

Garnet Patterson continued his strong run of form with fourth, pulling the best move of the race when he went around the outside of double champion James Winslow to grab the spot mid-race.

Patterson extended his lead in the Forpark National Class by finishing in front of his class rival, Chelsea Angelo, today.

With Winslow fifth, Chris Gilmour finished sixth and Ricky Capo seventh after being shuffled down the order on the opening lap as the field battled for track position. Chelsea Angelo was ninth and second in the Forpark National Class fight. Paul Scott completed the finishers on his F3 debut.

Dennie Rumble and Blake Varney failed to start the race – Rumble suffering gearbox issues in qualifying that ruled him out of competition until tomorrow.

Earlier, Simon Hodge set all kinds of new Formula 3 records when he scored his fifth consecutive pole position of the season – a new record under the current qualifying format, eclipsing a record previously held by Mitch Evans.

Hodge’s Queensland Raceway qualifying record lap also secured him pole by the third-smallest margin in F3 qualifying history – 0.0040s – ahead of Ben Gersekowski.

Chris Anthony qualified third and Ricky Capo a strong fourth in his Modena Engineering Dallara Mugen-Honda.

Two further races will conclude the fifth round of the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship on Sunday - both streamed live on thenationals.com.au

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