Ben ClucasBen Clucas has placed one hand on the 2006 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship trophy following yet another day of domination at Phillip Island today.

British driver Clucas, driving his Team BRM Dallara F304, needs to score just 10 points in the remaining two championship rounds to wrap up this year’s Gold Star Championship after scoring two wins, two poles and a fastest lap today for an additional 43 points on top of his already impressive tally scored this season.

Clucas lead from the outset in both races today, using clear track to build a buffer in each event to win the first by six seconds and the second race by over three.

The two wins today take Clucas’ 2006 win tally to 11, equaling a six year old record currently held by Paul Stephenson.

Clucas has also bettered a season record for the most championship points ever scored in a single season, his current tally of 249 taking him past the existing record set by Aaron Caratt last season of 242.

“It’s been a really great day, the car was fantastic.” Clucas said.

“I was at 100% the entire second race because Leanne was closing in for a while there. I really just wanted to build as big a gap as possible both times out to make sure that I was able to hold the lead if I got held up in traffic.”

Fleetcare Tandersport driver Leanne Tander had her career best weekend, scoring 27 points for the weekend thanks to third and second-place results today.

Tander worked her way into third place in race one after a slow start, pressuring Clucas in the early stages of race two this afternoon before finishing just over three seconds behind after 14 competitive laps.

“I’m happy with the weekend, but as a driver you always want to be that one place higher,” Tander said today.

“When I was fourth or fifth it was a bit harder to get to the front, but now we are much closer to the lead I’m a bit disappointed that I couldn’t run with Clucas in the second race.

“Having said that it’s been a good weekend and we have definitely made progress.” She said.

Whilst Tander posted her career best performance, Queenslander Chris Gilmour will head into his home round in two weeks time coming off the back of his strongest performance of the year.

After making his customary good start in race one, Gilmour finished fourth in the race before overhauling Michael Trimble in the second race to finish a delighted third – his best result since introducing his current car at the start of the season.

Tim Macrow had a disastrous day, running strongly in the first race before a cracked piston ended his weekend abruptly after the ninth of fourteen laps, ruling him out of taking his pole position spot he scored for race two.

“It’s really disappointing, but we have had to stretch the engine out for as long as possible. I would have rather that it went yesterday but that’s the way things go.” Macrow said.

Astuti Motorsport had a difficult day, Michael Trimble scoring second and fourth-placed finishes respectively whilst newcomer Andy Knight bounced back from a weekend of new-car electrical dramas to finish a strong fifth in the finale’.

Stuart Kostera continued his learning curve this weekend thanks to a pair of top seven positions; whilst Matt Sofi also scored his first championship points of the season thanks to a sixth-placed run in race one.

Ricky Occhipinti has closed to within eight points of securing the inaugural Kumho Tyres National Class championship thanks to another perfect run today, the Geelong based driver scoring two wins, two poles and a pair of fastest lap times to inch closer to the National crown.

Tim Berryman (#33 Delta Agribusiness) finished second in the final race, whilst John Boothman scored his first points of the season with a strong run today.

Scud Racing driver Lauren Gray continues to lead the Kumho Tyres Trophy Class despite another clean sweep from Graeme Holmes, Rod Anderson and Bill Maddocks both remaining in the championship hunt.

The championship battle will now head north to Queensland, with the penultimate round of the Gold Star chase set to be held on Fathers Day weekend, September 2 – 3.

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