Ben ClucasBen Clucas now holds a full Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship round’s worth of points over his nearest rival after winning today’s fourth series round at Mallala Raceway in South Australia.

The British driver lead home a record setting field under inclement skies today, Winning the first 20-lap event ahead of Tim Macrow and the second over nearest championship rival Michael Trimble in yet another near faultless display.

Clucas won the first race after staging an intense battle with Tim Macrow for a majority of the 20 Laps, both drivers matching and then bettering each others best times, Clucas eventually shaving 3 tenths off the old lap record to leave it standing at a scorching 1m04.3218.

After making a stunning start and leading early, Michael Trimble slipped back to finish an eventual third after suffering a punctured radiator towards the end of the race.

The Victorian had better luck in the second encounter, however, leading until the 13th lap when Clucas passed heading into turn three. A one lap dash to the flag following a safety car was not enough for Trimble, who finished just over a second behind the leader.

Clucas scored 43 of a potential 44 points today, and now leads the championship by the latter margin at the series’ half way point – essentially giving him an entire round up his sleeve.

“It was difficult to pass here today,” Said Clucas, whose John Deere / ESWA Radiant Heating Team BRM Dallara has won seven of the eight races held to date.

“My car was strong into turn three so I didn’t show Michael my cards in race two until he got slightly held up by a lapped runner, which is when I was able to get him and eventually win.

“It’s been a great weekend. One day we’re going to get a perfect score of 44 points from a round but I’ll take this!” he said.

“The lapped car was bad enough for Ben to get a run and pass me,” said Trimble, who added 27 points to his tally driving his #10 Astuti Motorsport / King Springs Dallara.

“The car was good in the second race but it wasn’t enough. It’s frustrating to be second again and also to have had the hole in the radiator in the first race.”

Scud Racer Tim Macrow gave the Melbourne-based team their best ever finish by scoring second in race one today, Macrow backing up with a third place in the second, despite a broken exhaust that sapped the car of power, and tied Trimble for the weekend.

“I’m happy with the weekend, but a bit disappointed with the final race because I was closing on the other two,” he explained.

“If we hadn’t broken the exhaust I think it could have been very interesting. I’m happy with the weekend overall and I think we can carry it on for the remainder of the year.

“From here on in I can’t see why we cant to every track and be on the money.” Macrow said.

Behind the leading trio Queenslander Chris Gilmour scored fifth and fourth place finishes respectively, taking his #17 StyroMax Dallara to another haul of championship points to jump both Leanne Tander and Chris Alajajian to move into 4th on the Gold Star table.

Tander had a strong run in the opening race before a clutch failed in the second five laps from home, sending the #42 Fleetcare Tandersport entry into the sand trap at the final hairpin and bringing the safety car onto the circuit.

A three car battle for Kumho Tyres National Class honors was staged between Ricky Occhipinti, Stuart Kostera and Tim Berryman today, two different winners emerging after a dramatic class battle.

Kostera dominated the opening race, but stalled at the start before the second event that dropped him behind the field.

After storming his way back through into the top ten, a late race altercation on the restart dropped the #70 PHR Scuderia car back to third place to give the former Formula Ford race winner a strong Australian Formula 3 Debut.

Class leader Occhipinti struggled with setup woes today, but maintains a 74 point lead over Tim Berryman heading into the series fifth round.

Scud Racing backed up their outright podium with their first ever Trophy Class 1 – 2 this afternoon, Bill Maddocks and Lauren Gray scoring the result in the second race after Graeme Holmes won the first.

Holmes collected the turn eight wall on the final lap of today’s second race prior to the restart, damaging the rear of his F398 Dallara. Gray still maintains a 15-point lead in the trophy championship.

The fifth round of the 50th Anniversary Australian Drivers Championship will be held at Sydney’s Eastern Creek Raceway in two weeks time, July 8 – 9.

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