A brisk, but clear, July morning greeted the F1000 competitors for Round 3 of the WA F1000 Championship. Everyone was looking forward to the event and the atmosphere in the pits was buzzing.
The Championship battle is tight between Sam Dicker and defending champ, Alex Barboutis.
In Qualifying it was again Sam Dicker who showed his great car control to jump on Pole position on a cold track. Aaron Love showed his ever-increasing experience by taking 3rd, closely followed by Adam Lisle and a great job by Chris Ratty saw him in 5th place. Mike Folwell and Heinz Pfenninger took out 8th and 9th respectively. Unfortunately, after an issue with Alex’s car he could only put a lap or two in and was down in 10th place.
Race 1 got under way and Sam Dicker stormed into the lead. After a first corner battle Adam Lisle jumped into 2nd place in front of Chris. Mike and Heinz both had great starts and capitalised on the first lap fray getting into 6th and 7th respectively. As Sam held down first place, Alex made some great passes and made his way into 2nd place by mid race. He could not do much with the gap that Sam had built and would finish there. Adam, Chris and Ben Riley were fighting hard for 3rd position with Adam coming out on top, in front of Ben, closely followed by Chris. Mike was chasing this battle hard and finished 6th, with Heinz not far behind him in 7th, by the flag. Unfortunately, an electrical issue saw Aaron pull out of the race on the warm up lap.
Race 2 was looking to be a good battle, with Alex now off grid 2 and looking to take it to Sam. After a great start, the two young guns fought hard over the race, this kept the whole group of racers together and really entertained the spectators. After some spectacular passes, it was Sam who again came out in front at the flag. Aaron Love had a great turn of speed to get to 4th after starting from the rear, he chased Adam, who was in 3rd, right to the flag. Chris dropped back a little in the battle and ended up 8th. Just behind Chris was Mike and Heinz, again having great races and coming home in 9th and 10th.
After such great racing in the first 2 races, everyone was looking forward to the final race. Again, the start was wheel to wheel. Alex got the jump on Sam from 2nd place and led the first lap. The pack was close and the battles where happening at every corner. During most of the race there were 7 cars nose to tail, all fighting for position. Alex had now stepped up again and was matching the speed of Sam. For the whole 10 laps, all of the drivers where jostling for every inch of the circuit. Sam pulled off a few daring outside passes on Alex in to turn 7 and Alex was very strong from turn 4 to turn 6, forcing Sam to have to defend hard. Aaron, Adam, Rob Appleyard, Chris and Ben Riley were all scrapping right behind the leading duo. At the flag though it was Sam who proved strongest, taking the win by a few car lengths over Alex, Rob Appleyard took out 3rd place only 2 tenths in front of a hard charging Aaron. Adam held off Ben Riley, who was also holding Chris off right to the flag. Mike was fighting with Stewart Burns and Heinz had fallen back a little in this race, finishing 10th.
The racing was very competitive and the Championship title fight is heating up between our two young guns.
We are already testing and preparing the cars and drivers for round 4, only a few weeks from now in mid-August.