April 19, 2014 | General

F3: Anthony Wins For Cooma, Lap Record a Bonus

AN 18-year-old kid from Cooma, the gateway to the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales, is the latest winner at Bathurst. The fact he scored a new outright lap record at Mount Panorama was just an additional bonus.Chris Anthony joined the elite list of winners at Australia’s most famous circuit today when he dominated the opening race at round three of the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship.In a commanding performance, he passed polesitter Simon Hodge on the opening lap and was never headed from there, breaking Shane van Gisbergen’s outright lap record en route to his first ever Formula 3 victory.Anthony’s new lap record stands at 2m03.8254s – a scant 0.03s quicker than the old benchmark but a record none the less.The current New South Wales Formula Ford champion is a round-to-round proposition this year and relies on fundraising in his local community to get the budget to race. Next week, Cooma should be giving him the keys to the city after adding his name to the list of winners in the Gold Star’s history.”It’s a big thing… It’s just massive! I can’t comprehend it all at the moment,” he beamed.”I can’t thank everyone back at Cooma enough for supporting me. We put on these fundraisers, sausage sizzles, and the whole town comes down to support us and it’s incredible.”We’re doing this on a budget, round by round, trying to see if we can get to the next one.”Anthony battled teammate Simon Hodge on the opening lap before pulling away to victory.”Being able to pull out a lead and not just have it handed to me is incredible. I got a quite average start and almost stalled it, actually, and I fought Simon into turn two and I got the pass.”I built a gap, thought about where I was on the track and wasn’t looking in the mirrors and just listening to Mark (Rundle, team manager) about what was happening.”I didn’t realise I got the lap record! I didn’t realise it when I looked at the time on my dash, but Mark came on the radio and said ‘you’ve won, you’ve won.. and you’ve also beaten Shane van Gisbergen’s lap record!'”, he added.”I couldn’t believe it. I did not expect this, knowing how strong Ben Gersekowski and Simon are. It will sink in tonight, I’m sure.”Ben Gersekowski finished second, working his way from fifth position at the start to third early in the race. A long battle with championship rival Simon Hodge ensured, the McDonald’s Gilmour Racing pilot eventually working his way past mid-race.He then set out after the runaway leader and lapped traffic helped close the margin to less than four seconds at the line – but ultimately the Queenslander was happy to gain points on his nearest title rival.After walking away from a 5-G crash in practice yesterday, second was a strong result.”I would have been happy with any position today after yesterday, so I’m really stoked with second,” He said.”I had a great battle with Simon for second position and he must have missed a gear running up Mountain straight – I was able to get alongside and go a bit deeper into Griffins bend to get the position.”I just pressed on to chase Chris down because you never know what is going to happen!”Hodge had a quiet race to third, but maintains a narrow one-point title lead heading into tomorrow’s second race of the round. Arrie Maree was involved in an early battle with Chelsea Angelo and Garnet Patterson before clearing the warring Forpark National Class rivals, finishing a solid fourth but setting lap times equivalent to the leaders by the end of the 12-lap affair.Hodge leads the Australian Drivers Championship by one point heading into tomorrow’s second race, Anthony now just 21 points off the series lead in third.Patterson and Angelo had one of the battles of the race, swapping positions regularly in the fight for the National Class victory.Patterson made a superb start and sat third on the opening lap, before he was chased down by Gersekowski and Maree in the early stages. Angelo also worked her way past the New South Wales driver mid-race, before Patterson regained the class lead on lap seven.He would hold it for two laps before Angelo would work her way past again before ultimately holding on for the class victory.AGI Sport driver Nathan Gotch scored the outright lead in Formula 3’s Kumho Cup today, a strong performance to seventh outright giving him the class victory ahead of the always-improving Roland Legge and Dennie Rumble.Race two will be held tomorrow (Sunday, April 20) as part of the Bathurst Motor Festival at Mount Panorama.