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ROUND 3 - Sands re-takes the Championship Lead   
Story By: Administrator  Date: 10/06/2022 at 11:33:22 PM 
Gilmour Racingís Noah Sands has retaken the lead of the Australian Formula 3 Championship with a commanding display at Winton Raceway, taking advantage of his main rivalís misfortune.

The weekend started perfectly for Sands who took the All Properties Group Pole Position Award after an eventful Qualifying session, Tim Macrow's Ben Taylor had a scary shunt at turn 2 bringing out the red flags. Taylor clipped the curb and lost control of the car hitting the wall backwards. The session was resumed but soon after was halted again after Krumins spun at turn 10, at the same time championship leader Trent Grubel stopped after turn 3 with an engine issue. Both Taylor and Grubel would take no further part in the weekend.

Sands has a moment
Noah Sands took his first All Properties Group Pole Position

In race 1 it was 99 Motorsport's Ryan Astley who took his first Australian Formula 3 victory after an eventful race. Astley got the perfect start from the third row of the grid to go up the inside of pole-sitter Sands who locked and inside wheel, Sands Dallara slid off the track through the wet grass rejoining sideways in front of R-Tek Motorsport's Roman Krumins. Krumins somehow managed to avoid Sands to move up to 3rd behind his team-mate Mitchell Neilson. Tim Macrow Racing's debutant Ethan Brown stalled off the line dropping to the rear of the field.

Sands has a moment
Noah Sands slides in front of Roman Krumins in Race 1

Krumins then understeered off a turn 3 on lap 2 getting stuck in the gravel causing a safety car, this benefitted both Sands and Brown who were able catch field. After the restart Sands set about making his way back to the front passing Neilson into turn 3 on lap 5, he then had a lunge into turn 11 which Astley successfully defended however Sands got the job done the following lap.
Astley had good pace and crossed within 5 seconds of Sands who was handed a 10 second penalty after the stewards deemed his lap 1 re-entry unsafe. Brown made it past Neilson for 3rd with Neilson crossing the line 4th. Krumins made it back on track to take the National Class win, Luke Klaver won the Invitational Class.

Race 2 was a little more of a calm affair with Astley, this time from the front row leading Sands into turn 1. Astley managed to hold off Sands for 4 laps before Sandís got the move done, going on to take a 10 second win.
Neilson was able to pressure Astley for a few laps until Brown recovered from a slow start to join them, Brown passed Neilson and Astley in consecutive laps to take 2nd. Astley would hold on for 3rd ahead of Neilson. Krumins again took the National Class victory with Klaver the Invitational class.

With the grid for race 3 being set from the second fastest laps in qualifying, it was Sands and Neilson off the front row with the latter leading into turn 1. Neilson held the lead until the start of lap 3 where he went a little too deep into turn 1, cutting across the grass reminiscent of Sands incident in race 1. The stewards saw the incident in the same light as Sands issuing a 10 second to Neilson though it would not change his position.
Sands would go on to cross the line 18 seconds ahead of Astley with Neilson 3rd. Krumins and Klaver had a race long battle for 4th, with both being reeled in by Brown who had an issue off the line. Brown closed down a 32 second deficit to catch the Krumins-Klaver battle on the last lap, he was able to pass Klaver for 5th but would cross the line behind Krumins by just 4-tenth of a second.

For Sands it was a successful weekend taking advantage of Grubelís misfortune to take back the Championship lead with a round win, Astley had his best round to date taking his first category win and 2nd outright with Neilson scraping in for 3rd for the round ahead of a very impressive debut by Brown. Krumins took the National Class round win with Klaver taking the Invitational Class.

Championship Points
1st - Noah Sands - 117pts
2nd - Trent Grubel - 85pts
3rd - Mitchell Neilson - 76pts
4th - Ryan Astley - 67pts
5th - Ben Taylor - 42pts

National Points
1st - Roman Krumins - 83pts
2nd - Gerrit Ruff - 49pts
3rd - Max de Meyrick - 36pts
4th - Andrew Roberts - 36pts
5th - Bo Jensen - 8pts

Next round: Queensland Raceway, August 19th-21st

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