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Honda Indy Carnival – Sun, surf and motorsport
Australian Formula 3 National Championship:
Round 8, 24th – 27th October 2002

Thursday - Qualifying Session 1:
Will powers to pole position in first qualifying session
Will Power will start Race 1 from Pole Position after setting the fastest time in the morning’s first qualifying session. On a warm and sunny Gold Coast morning, Power in his new Dallara F301 Mugen Honda set a fastest time of 1:51.1657, a mere 8/100th’s of a second ahead of newly crowned Australian Formula 3 Champion, James Manderson.

Third fastest was the surprise packet of the morning, newcomer Barton Mawer in his Dallara F396 Opel Spiess in a 1:52.3113. Kiwi driver New Zealander James Cressey set the 4th-fastest time of the morning just ahead of Team BRM’s Darren Palmer. Sixth fastest was outgoing Australian F3 champion, Peter Hackett, driving for Piccola Scuderia while regular pilot American Jeffrey Brewer is away in the USA.

Michael Caruso in his Dallara F301 Fiat was quickest at the start of the session, but ended the session in 7th ahead of F3 newcomer and son of 1980 Formula 1 World Champion Alan Jones, Christian Jones in the Toll Ipec Dallara F301 Mugen Honda. Another newcomer to Formula 3, Kenny Habul, driving for newly formed team, Scud Racing, finished the session with the 9th fastest time. Rounding out the top 10 is New Zealander, Matt Fitzgerald in the third Team BRM car.

Piccola Scuderia’s Justin Watt managed to complete only 4 laps before his Dallara F301 Alfa pulled to a stop with a loose bolt in the driveshaft. Likewise, Level 2 competitor, Bill Maddocks only completed 2 laps before retiring to the pits with suspension problems.

Graeme Holmes came to grief with the notorious Gold Coast concrete on his second lap and took no further part in the session. John Boothman also pulled out of the session half way through, with an engine misfire. In Level 2, Rod Anderson came out of the blocks fast and finished the session ahead of Level 2 Championship rival, Paul Trengove, Team CPA.

Top Six
Will Power 1:51.1657 (new lap record)
James Manderson 1:51.2480
Barton Mawer 1:52.3113
James Cressey 1:52.7847
Darren Palmer 1:52.8467
Peter Hackett 1:52.9273

Thursday - Qualifying Session 2:
Power makes it two in a row
The second qualifying session for Formula 3 cars was at 2.15 pm in warm, sunny condiitions. With more rubber down on the track, times were quicker.

Will Power again took pole in the very quick time of 1:50.7044. The session was red flagged after just one lap after Paul Stephenson suffered brake failure, and despite his efforts to throw the car away from the looming concrete wall, he nosed the car in and the session was stopped for several minutes while his car was removed. Paul was unharmed, although brake failure is always something drivers fear!

Christian Jones had battery failure and managed only one lap, while Matt Fitzgerald suffered an input shaft problem and spent the session in pit lane. Ricky Occhipinti also did not take part in the session due to gear box problems. Graeme Holmes did not appear due to accident damage sustained in the first session and John Boothman’s intermittent electrical gemlins struck again.

Second quickest behind Power, was James Manderson, 4/10ths of a second behind the Cooltemp Pty Ltd Dallara F301 Mugen Honda. Peter Hackett meanwhile, put in a better effort for Piccola Scuderia to finish the session third fastest. Team BRM’s Darren Palmer was fourth fastest, a mere 2/100ths of a second in front of impressive newcomer, Barfton Mawer who continued his excellent form from the morning’s session.

Rod Anderson again domninated Level Two, ahead of Billy Maddocks and CPA Australia’s Paul Trengove.

Qualifying 2 – Top 6
1. Will Power 1:50.7044
2. James Manderson 1:51.1245
3. Peter Hackett 1:52.6493
4. Darren Palmer 1:52.8695
5. Barton Mawer 1:52.8876
6. Michael Caruso 1:54.3562

Friday – Race One
There were warm conditions on the track on Friday afternoon. The cars were gridded, and engines stopped until under starter’s orders when each car had to be jump started. This was due to concern about engines over-heating in the warm Queensland conditions if cars had to sit for too long on the grid with engines running. Newcomer Christian Jones did not make the start, his car stopped on the circuit on its way around to the start line with battery problems.

At the start, James Cressey was slow away, and was hit from behind by Justin Watt, seriously damaging his rear wing. The unfortunate Watt was out of the race, as several other drivers behind him narrowly averted further disaster. Barton Mawer also struck problems, and damaged his nose cone which was flapping wildly. James Manderson led Will Power into turn one but the new Mugen Honda which Power was racing for the first time at this meeting, soon came into its own on the long straight and Power got by to lead the race. As a result of the dramas on the start line Peter Hackett had moved up into third place behind Power and Manderson, with Palmer fourth and the damaged car of Barton Mawer, and Michael Caruso following.

In the hotly contested Level 2 division, South Australia contender Paul Trengove got by the championship leader Rod Anderson. A lap later, Anderson had a moment, trying to re-take Trengove, and Anderson’s race was over. The outcome of the Level 2 Championship would now be decided in the last race of the last round of the season!

Sadly for the resurgent Piccola Scuderia Peter Hackett in third place experienced gear box problems and was out of the race. This elevated Darren Palmer to third, with Barton Mawer following closely. Despite the damage to their cars, both Mawer and James Cressey continued to race strongly. Michael Caruso was also having a great race, having missed the Phillip Island round due to damage sustained on the test day at the Island. Mawer harassed Palmer for a further lap before finding a way by.

The top three remained the same in a race shortened to 5 laps from the scheduled 8laps. A great result for Will Power in his new Dallara 398 Toyota. James Manderson came home second, followed by a delighted Barton Mawer.

Top Six – Race 1
1 Will Power 1:50.9705
2 James Manderson 1:51.0909
3 Barton Mawer 1:52.0961
4 Darren Palmer 1:52.6243
5 Michael Caruso 1:52.1987
6 Matt Fitzgerald 1:55.2505

Level 2 – Race 1
1 Paul Trengove 2:05.3843
2 Billy Maddocks 2:07.7906
Saturday - Race Two
At the early hour of 9.30am, Formula 3 was on track for the last race of the 2002 Championship season. Hard to believe that the category has grown so much since the start of the season at Adelaide in March.

Race 2 was an action packed affair. Hackett made a great start, but was soon passed by Will Power, sho was in dominant form. Palmer, Caruso, Manderson and Mawer made up the front runners with James Cressey, Kenny Habul, having his first races this weekend in a Formula 3, and Justin Watt, who had experienced such dramas in race one.

Sadly for Anderson, he was soon stopped with car problems on lap 2, and the Safety Car was brought out. With a CNF for Anderson, Trengove only had to finish the race to claim the Level 2 Championship win. Nail biting moments now for Trengove’s Team CPA!

A series of incidents followed the restart. Barton Mawer again in the thick of the action, had body work on the front of his damaged car, and was unable to see the track clearly, Unfortunately, as he tried to manoeuvre his injured car around the walls James Manderson who was unable to avoid him, and both drivers were out of the race. Mawer sustained heavy damage to his car. Manderson made it back to the pits, but was unable to continue. Palmer and Caruso were also involved in separate incidents caused by the ailing Mawer, Caruson made contact with Palmer who was unfortunately out of the race, his 2002 season over. Hackett also appeared to make contact with Palmer.

At the front of the field, Power led by a big margin, with Hackett and Caruso fighting hard. Caruso found a way past Hackett who was soon threatened by Cressey, whose car had sustained damage to the rear wing. By lap 5, the rear wing had collapsed – a problem which Cressey has experienced several times this season. However he was too fast for Hackett and by lap 6 he had moved up to third position.

Christian Jones was also having a good race in fifth and further back, Paul Stephenson was having a battle with Matt Fitzgerald, and Justin Watt. Unfortunately for Fitzgerald, he was soon into the pits, rejoining the race a long way back.

Hackett was given a drive through penalty for jumping the curbs which dropped him further back while his team mate, Watt continued to race with an engine that sounded very unwell due to a cracked exhaust header. Fortunately for Watt, the problem was not terminal, and he finished the race.

Power again dominated race 2, taking the win from Michael Caruso in second, with James Cressey third. Paul Trengove finished, and took out the race win, the Round wind, and the Level 2 Championship. A great weekend for him. Caruso also set a new lap record of 1:50.4472, beating Power’s record from Race 1 of 1:50.9705

A post race inquiry over several incidents and issues altered the final standings in race 2. Cressey was given aretrospective 30 second penalty as was Christian Jones, elevating Hackett to third place. As this report is published final standings in Race 2 are still awaiting confirmation.

Top Six – Race 2
1 Will Power 1:50.4943
2 Michael Caruso 1:50.4472 (new lap record)
3 Peter Hackett 1:52.5109
4 Justin Watt 1:54.6596
5 James Cressey 1:51.4498
6 Christian Jones 1:51.7106

Level 2 – Race 2
1 Paul Trengove 2:00.5464
2 Billy Maddocks 2:03.5281

Formula 3 National Championship 2002:
Final Standings after Round 8 (Awaiting Confirmation)

James Manderson Team BRM 241
Will Power Cooltemp 204
Darren Palmer Team BRM 186
James Cressey Timberworld 143
Michael Caruso Nova Veloce – F1 Magazine 91
Peter Hackett PSC/Fisher & Paykel/Cactus Group 86
Ricky Occhipinti Formula Uno Racing 56
Matt Fitzgerald MSpeed Racing 48
Paul Stephenson ebanctrade 43
Chris Coombs Carrier Airconditioning 37
Mike Beeley MSpeed Racing 36
Graeme Holmes GHK Powdercoating 24
Glenn Coombs Carrier Airconditioning 21
Jeffrey Brewer PSC/Fisher & Paykel/Cactus Group 20
Justin Watt PSC/Fisher & Paykel/Cactus Group 17
John Boothman John Boothman 16
Mark Rundle RGP Motorsport 13
Barton Mawer Bob John 12
Christian Jones Toll Ipec 6
Sean Whelan Sean Whelan 3
David Borg RGP Motorsport 1
Paul Trengove CPA Australia 219
Rod Anderson Hack Anderson Thomas 192
Bill Maddocks Softelm Pty Ltd 163
Peter Rees Peter Rees 30
Andrew Weber Andrew Weber 28
Neil Caswell Total Recruitment 24
Frank Cascone Frank Cascone 16

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