There is an old Motorsport saying: “It doesn’t matter how much you win by, crossing the line first it’s all that matters.”

Adelaide based Team BRM driver Ben Clucas lived up to the old adage at the weekend following one of the closest rounds in the history of the 2006 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship for the CAMS Gold Star, held at Phillip Island last weekend.

The 21-year-old driver won both races at the 4.45km Circuit two hours South-East of Melbourne, an event that featured the first full-wet race for the Australian Championship for over a year as intermittent rain swept across the circuit throughout the day.

After scoring two poles in Qualifying – the Race two pole by one of the closest margins in series history, 0.0069s – Clucas’ Team BRM / Gawler Farm Machinery Dallara F304 Spiess was completely dominant on race day despite not making the best start in each race.

Race one was the most extraordinary performances of the day, Clucas stealing a win in an event – and a driving performance – that will be remembered for years to come.

In wet conditions, the Team BRM car dropped to second at the start, passing Michael Trimble at the end of the opening lap just before a safety car was called to the circuit to recover a stranded car.

As the Safety car was removed from the circuit three laps later, Clucas was shown the black flag for a jumped start, serving a drive through penalty that left the Team BRM Dallara 5th and some 30 seconds behind the leaders with just eight laps to run in the fourteen lap event.

Clucas’ complete mastery of the conditions and a well set up car saw the #84 car lap upwards of five seconds faster than anyone on the circuit, the British driver scything his way to third before another safety car closed him right to the back of the leaders: Trimble and Tim Macrow.

With a lap left to play following the removal of the safety car Clucas shot passed Macrow on the run into Turn four before setting out after Trimble.

Pegging the leader exactly three seconds on the final lap alone, Clucas drew alongside his season-long championship rival as the pair exited the final corner to begin a drag race to the line.

Barely separated by 30 centimeters, the pair went toe to toe towards the line only for Clucas to win by the closest margin in Australian Formula 3 History – 0.0039s – following a remarkable performance.

The second race was slightly more straightforward, Clucas scoring another win by a slightly larger margin – three seconds – despite once again being forced to pass plenty of cars before hitting the front after a cautious start.

The results have given Clucas and Team BRM a stronger lead in the chase for the CAMS Gold Star, extending his margin from 16 to 28 points after three rounds.

Team BRM owner Bronte Rundle was justifiably elated with the results.

“What an incredible day it’s been,” he said.

“That was one of the great drives. Ben and the car were just faultless in the wet and the race one performance was just masterful. To have two wins from two starts is a great performance from our driver and from our team, who have worked very hard to give Ben a good car this weekend.

“The guys have hard to work extra hard on the car this weekend and the results repay that hard work.

“Now we can head into our home round of the championship at Mallala with an extended Championship lead as we look to give Ben the championship he keeps proving that he deserves.”

The next round of the 2006 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship for the CAMS Gold Star will be held at Mallala Raceway, Team BRM’s Home circuit, in a month’s time.