STEEL GUILIANA believes he is ready to stand on the top step of the Formula 3 Australian Drivers’ Championship podium – and says there is no better place to do it than Symmons Plains Raceway in Tasmania.
Round two of the championship heads back to the Apple Isle this weekend and after a challenging opening round in Adelaide, the Sydneysider is looking forward to returning to the circuit where he clinched the 2011 Forpark National Class title.
The Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship returns to Tasmania this weekend in support of the V8 Supercars Tasmania Challenge, before heading north to Bathurst for the series’ debut at Mount Panorama a week later.
However Guiliana believes this weekend is the one where he can get his title hopes back on track.
“Clipsal wasn’t the ideal start for us, but the best thing was that we were right on the pace from the first session,” Guiliana said, having qualified third at the Adelaide street circuit before persistent brake issues cost him a strong overall result.
He walked away with just five points from the opening round and sits last of the drivers’ to score.
“I am very confident that had we not had any issues we would have been inside the top three and possibly challenging for a win as we got more laps. So we know that speed isn’t the problem and because of that I’m really looking forward to this weekend.
“My R-Tek Motorsport team-mate James Winslow proved last year that you can contend for a championship despite missing a round. Well, we’ve already got a few points on the board so if we have a strong run from here there is no reason why we won’t be in a good position later in the year.”
Guiliana, who hails from New South Wales’ Central Cost and the town of Terrigal, near Gosford, says returning to Tasmania is another reason to be excited about this weekend.
“Last year racing at Darwin and at Tasmania were the highlights of the year,” He said.
“Obviously the place has special memories for me because its where I clinched the Forpark Australia National Class title in November – but most of all it’s a fun race track. You can overtake and the field is generally very evenly matched and very competitive.
“We always put on a great show for the fans in Tasmania and that’s what it is all about.”
Guiliana will face a competitive battle for the outright win; Team BRM’s John Magro and Jordan Skinner, reigning champion Chris Gilmour and his own R-Tek team mate, 2008 F3 champion James Winslow, set to have an equal chance at topping the podium this weekend.
Meanwhile after strong performances in Adelaide, Forpark National Class drivers Ben Gersekowski, Hayden Cooper and Adrian Cottrell could all challenge for podium places in their slipperier 2004-specification Dallara’s that love the long straights that Symmons Plains has to offer.
Queensland-based Superkarter Mike Wayne will make his F3 Australian Drivers Championship debut this weekend, having recently signed to race with R-Tek Motorsport in one of the teams’ Dallara F304 chassis.
Wayne has raced 250cc Gearbox superkarts for the past five seasons and will make his debut in a racing car this weekend. The Queenslander expects to complete the remainder of the season as part of a long-term Formula 3 plan.
This weekend’s round will also be notable for the highly-anticipated debut of the Mygale Formula 3 chassis for the first time in Australian F3 history.
Queensland businessman Jon Mills has confirmed his entry of his ex-British F3, Mercedes Benz powered Mygale M-07 and will become the first driver to race anything other than a Dallara in the championship in twelve years.
The car will be the first of up to three Mygale’s set to take to the track throughout this year.
Round one podium finisher Mathew Sofi has been a late withdrawal from the round due to existing businesses commitments in his native Sydney.
Entry List – Round 2, Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship
1. Chris Gilmour (QLD) – Washit.com.au / Gilmour Racing Dallara F307 Mercedes Benz
3. John Magro (QLD) – Magro Motorsport / Team BRM Dallara F307 Mercedes Benz
4. Jordan Skinner (SA) – Team BRM Dallara F307 Mercedes Benz
6. James Winslow (UK) – R-Tek Motorsport Dallara F307 Mercedes Benz
7. Steel Guiliana (NSW) – Forpark Australia / R-Tek Motorsport Dallara F307 Mercedes Benz
8. Mike Wayne (QLD) – R-Tek Motorsport Dallara F304 Spiess Opel *
9. Adrian Cottrell (SA) – R-Tek Motorsport Dallara F304 Spiess Opel *
11. (TBA) – Yellow Tail Wines / Astuti Motorsport Dallara F307 Renault Sodemo
32. Jon Mills (QLD) – National Surgical / Mills Motorsport Mygale M-07 Mercedes Benz
42. Ben Gersekowski (QLD) – Vic’s Timbers / Cooltemp / BF Racing Dallara F304 Spiess Opel *
46. (TBA) – Harvest Motorsport / Mygale M-08 Mercedes Benz
93. Hayden Cooper (QLD) – BF Racing Dallara F304 Spiess Opel *
* Forpark Australia F3 National Class.
CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS - After Round 1 of 7.
1. James Winslow 46
2. Mat Sofi 35
3. Chris Gilmour 28
4. Jordan Skinner 22
5. John Magro 15
6. Hayden Cooper 14
7. Chris Vlok 9
8. Ben Gersekowski 9
9. Adrian Cottrell 6
10. Chris Slusaski 6