March 2006 to December 2007Update: With the arrival of my Son (first child) in December 2007 I sold my Dallara as I knew I would struggle to find the time and budget to campaign a car of this callibre.
After racing a PRB clubman for many years I decided to find something even quicker to race. After looking at lap times I came to the conclusion that no production based car would fit the bill. It had to be a purpose built race car. I ended up purchasing a 99 model Dallara formula 3 with an Opel engine.
The Dallara F399 is a fantastic car, full carbon tub and lots of magnesium components. Total race weight with my 70kg's in it is 535kg. With 220hp on board its one of the fastest race cars in the country. It has a Dallara transaxle casing with Hewland internals, Koni dampers, Opel Spiess engine with Bosch motorsport engine management.
Driving wise, I was completely unprepared for how quick these cars are. It will rocket to 100 km/hr in around 3 seconds, pull up to 4 G's around corners and brake from its top speed of 250km/h into a hairpin corner only 70 meters from the corner. I've had to get to the gym so I'm fit enough to keep up with the car. The neck takes a major pounding over a race weekend.
Formula 3 racing is Australia competes for the CAMS gold star title, which is Australia's highest motorsport award. Most of the young guns have their sights on Formula 1 and use the series as a stepping stone to Europe. For lots more info visit the F3 australia web site. Formula 3 Australia
This is my first winged open wheeler and its taken some time to get used to downforce. If the car is sliding around corners chances are you are not going anywhere near fast enough. The trick it to enter the corner much faster and the downforce will hold the car flat. Sounds simple but it takes a little while to convince your senses to do so.
My two year campaign was sponsored initially by Data#3, the company I work, and in the later stages by Fitness First. The support of my sponsors made it possible for me to make it to the full seasons calendar.
Campaigning a car like this requires a pit crew to prepare the car. Big thanks to my crew this year especially Gary Sturdy, Jonathan Hawkins, Andrew Towndrow, Andrew Lawrenson, Stu, Mega, Louise and my dad Mike.
Here are some pictures of the car.