Images: GREG WILLIAMS.
The lap when I beat the outright lap record last weekend at Morgan Park! An awesome circuit, was a blast to race there!
Posted by Calan Williams Racing on Tuesday, 23 May 2017
From CALAN WILLIAMS, at Morgan Park in Warwick, QLD.
“I LINED UP READY FOR QUALIFYING for the first round of the 2017 Australian Formula 3 Premier Series, with only 10 minutes of track time under my belt.
“We arrived in the early hours of Friday for my first laps around the Morgan Park circuit. My first session consisted of learning the track then, in the last few laps, finding the brake points and limits of the car around various sections. Then the rain came down. And set in for the rest of the day.
“The forecast for the weekend’s racing was dry weather. So we decided to put the car away, save a set of wet tyres and not risk any damage to the car. I spent my day analysing data with Scott, the team’s data engineer, to see where improvements could be made. And watching footage in preparation for the 15-lap race on Saturday and two 15-lappers Sunday.
“At qualifying it took me a few laps to get some clear air. I scrubbed off a lot of speed when I carried too much into turn 4, and had to catch the car before it spun. My next two clear laps were my best shot at setting the fastest laps I could, and, with a lap of 1:07.999, I managed to take pole position!
“A few hours later, the red light was switched on and then off again to start the first race of the 2017 Australian Formula 3 Premier Series. I had a good initial launch, but an early up-shift cost me the lead into turn one. Sticking on the gearbox of the race leader –,and my Gilmour Racing team mate – I waited for an opportunity. Knowing my best chance was into turn 4, I didn’t attempt anything until I was right on his gearbox exiting turns 2 and 3. With 4 laps to go, on lap 11, I got a good exit out of turn 2, and stuck behind him through the quick left-hander of turn 3, and then stuck the car down the inside of turn 4 and made the move. I began to gradually extend my lead, and in the process, beat the circuit’s outright lap record by just under a second! And I went on to take the checkered flag in first!
“After a good start in Sunday’s first race, I had to back off to prevent hitting the car in front. As I got back on the power I was faced with the unfortunate sight of my team-mate – who had gone onto the grass after the start – sliding across the track sideways in front of me. With no other choice, I lifted the throttle and swerved to the right. It wasn’t enough though, just clipping the rear of his car, the left end-plate of the front wing was ripped apart. Both my team mate and I were out of the race. And I was parked for race three.
“After such a promising start to the weekend, it ended in rather disappointing fashion. Now behind on points, I will be trying my hardest to catch the lead of the championship at Mallala in three weeks’ time.
“As always, a massive thank you to Errol, Scott, Callum and Gary from Gilmour Racing for having the car looking great and set-up to about as close to perfect as is possible!”
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