Fantastic Fry bosses Bathurst!

Aleix Alcaraz heads down under for round four of the Apex Racing Academy F3 VRS Super Series (ARA F3) on a roll. Victories at Brands Hatch and Interlagos place the speedy Spaniard on top of the championship standings. Thirty points in arrears, is the blisteringly quick Raoul Hyman. Whilst Alcaraz has been the model of consistency, Hyman has been wild. Critical mistakes at Brands Hatch and Interlagos have cost the Hyman dear. Could the South African turn the tables at Mount Panorama?

Throughout the fifteen-minute sprint, Francesco Fioroni and Cristophe Herbigneaux disputed second place. Curiously, Fioroni’s Dallara appeared to have a straight-line speed advantage. Herbigneaux’s machine, however, had the edge over the twisty mountain section. Fioroni held off his Belgian rival for the entirety of the race. However, ‘The Belgian Bullet’ had saved best for last. A final lunge into Murray’s gave Herbigneaux second place. In fourth place, Viktor Andersson continued his dominance of the AM class. One place behind Andersson, was Carl Modoff. Although Modoff had qualified second, the American ace was forced to start pit lane due to a penalty.

David Holland and Raoul Hyman enjoyed a clear view to turn one in the second heat race. Although Holland got the hole shot, Raoul Hyman pestered the American all race long. Finally, Hyman managed to pull off a cunning move at the chase to take the lead just before the white flag. Hyman hung on throughout the final lap and secured another heat race win. Despite a last-ditch attempt at Murray’s, Holland had to settle for second, with Max Bartolotta immediately behind.

Super Swede, Viktor Andersson, has stunned the field with his pace. The runaway AM class leader duked with the PRO class protagonists throughout the meeting at Interlagos. Andersson arrives at Bathurst ready to deliver once more.

Alcaraz asserted his superiority with a rapid qualifying lap, placing the Pliegues Racing Team driver on pole position for the opening heat. Viktor Andersson started fifth and top of the AM class. However, a new AM class upstart arrived on his home turf. Weary from a six-hour mega stint in the ‘iRace for Movember’ event at Le Mans, Lochie Brown qualified alongside Andersson in sixth.

Flawlessly launching his Dallara off the line, Alcaraz made it to Hell corner ahead of the pack. For the remainder of the heat, the championship leader was in heaven. A string of superb lap times produced a dominant win and pole position for the feature race.

After a crash in his heat, Lochie Brown faced the trepidation of the consolation race. With eleven drivers going for six positions in the feature, the ten-minute dash is always fraught with risk. However, Brown exhibited his credentials and sliced through the field with ease to a comfortable win. How comfortable? The Antipodean ace amassed an extraordinary lead of twenty-two seconds in just five laps.

Feature Race

Moving to the main event, viewers on Apex Racing TV anticipated a showdown between championship protagonists, Aleix Alcaraz and Raoul Hyman. Alcaraz led the charge up the Mountain straight, with Hyman in hot pursuit. However, excessive wheelspin on the exit of The Cutting spoiled Alcaraz’s exit. Raoul Hyman, an Asian F3 champion, needed no second invitation to pounce. Smelling blood, Hyman jinked to the outside and prepared to pass at Reid Park. Unfortunately, space is at a premium on Mount Panorama and Hyman received a stern reminder. Ploughing into the wall, Hyman’s Dallara bounced across the track and collected a luckless Cristophe Herbigneaux. Both were out of the reckoning for the podium.

As the race approached halfway, Aleix Alcaraz appeared to be in a controlling lead, heading for a hat trick of victories. However, a mistake forced the Spaniard to pit for service. A delighted Francesco Fioroni assumed the lead following Alcaraz’s demise. Now in second place, Arthur Fry began to hassle Fioroni for the lead. At Interlagos, Fry had been unceremoniously barged into the wall and was keen to settle the score. Fry didn’t fritter his opportunity, moving into the lead on lap six and dashing to the win. Fioroni and Bartolotta made it a double Italian podium in their brace of Squadra Corse Dallaras. Once again, Viktor Andersson was top of the class in the AM contest and solidified his lead at the top of the standings.

On the fifth of December, the penultimate round of the Apex Racing Academy F3 VRS Super Series takes place at Spa Francorchamps. Tune into Apex Racing TV on You Tube at 8pm GMT and watch all the action unfold.

Images by @Groove_Media (Link to full size versions )

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