Adelaide’s Simon Hodge made his mark on the Australian F3 Championship taking three wins from three races in the season opener at Adelaide last week.
Hodge has stepped up from the Australian Formula Ford Championship and has adapted very well to the wings and slicks formula.
He is racing for the BRM team in a Mygale M11 Mercedes. He had to fight hard for his win with Ben Gersekowski and John Magro both trying to best the driver. His wins gave Team BRM their 100th victory in the Australian Formula 3 Championship.
In this interview we talk about the race, the season to come, the transition from Formula Ford and we learn a little bit more about Simon.
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Race 1 in brief
SIMON HODGE has had perhaps the most successful day of his brief racing career today at the Clipsal 500 Adelaide, scoring pole position and dominantly winning the opening race of the 2014 Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship.
The 20-year-old University student led all the way from pole position and smashed the outright Clipsal 500 circuit lap record en route to a comfortable victory in his Team BRM Mygale M11 – Mercedes Benz.
It was Hodge’s maiden race victory at a national level, came in just his fourth ever Formula 3 race start and all came in his first ever race start on the street circuit he’s visited since early childhood.
Hodge led from pole and was unchallenged en route to his comfortable near six-second victory.
John Magro finished second however the result remains under investigation following a penultimate-lap collision in the final corner with Ben Gersekowski.
Race 2 in brief
SIMON HODGE is on the verge of completing the best weekend of his life.
Despite his nearest challengers beginning to rebound in response to his early domination in the opening round of the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship, the 20-year-old Adelaide driver has continued on his winning ways on the streets of Adelaide.
He won today’s second of three races scheduled for this weekend, taking the 15-lap affair by more than ten seconds and banging in the fastest lap on the final lap to add an exclamation point to a dominant performance.
The result backed up his maiden victory yesterday and – coupled with bonus points for pole position and the fastest lap in each race – mean that he now has a handy championship lead as well.
Just 1.1 seconds covered the fastest race laps of the top six finishers today, showcasing how the field is closing in on the runaway leader – though consistency seems key to Hodge’s form so far.
Race 3 in brief
IF the 2014 Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship produces a better race than the finale’ of the season opener at the Clipsal 500 Adelaide, it will need to be something truly special.
Adelaide driver Simon Hodge won today’s Clipsal 500 Formula 3 feature and completed a clean sweep of the weekend – but he had to battle early leader Ben Gersekowski to do it.
Gersekowski’s McDonald’s Gilmour Racing Dallara erupted off the line in the Sunday morning 10-lap race and led the race early, with Hodge’s Team BRM Mygale keeping a watching brief behind.
The pair battled early in the race on both the start-finish straight and in the braking zone at turn four – where the decisive move for the win could come on the eighth lap. Hodge, having had a good run through the Senna Chicane, launched a move up the inside of Gersekowski and executed the pass.
The pair raced tough and fairly in a battle between the two opposing chassis brands in the championship this year; Mygale taking the early advantage.
Hodge’s win launched him to a clear championship lead after the opening round of eight, 18 points clear of Gersekowski.
By Sam Tickell, with media releases March 2014
Photos: Dirk Klynsmith/Australian Formula 3
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