Formula 3 Australia officials have confirmed a modified schedule for the second half of the 2009 season, which will include a return to Queensland Raceway.
The cancellation of the Symmons Plains Shannons Nationals Round – after another category withdrew at late notice leaving the event unviable to promote this year – left Formula 3 Australia seeking a replacement round to ensure the full eight were completed as scheduled.
Following an invitation from Queensland Raceway, Round six of the 2009 Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship for the CAMS Gold Star will now be held at the Ipswich circuit between August 21 – 23 as part of the Queensland V8 Supercar event.
After weighing up the options the board of Formula 3 Australia is putting significant energy into ensuring the success of the Queensland event, and the Oran Park round that will follow it one week later.
Queensland Raceway officials, meanwhile, are pleased to have Australia's premier Open Wheel category return to their venue.
"I can't wait to see the Formula 3 CAMS Gold Star category racing at Queensland Raceways' Ipswich venue again after an absence of three years,” Queensland Raceways CEO John Tetley said. “These sophisticated thoroughbred race cars bring a special feeling to our venue which we have missed. You know that every one of the Formula 3 drivers have a level of commitment to a podium that is unmatched by any other category of racing in Australia. Driving open-wheel to open-wheel at speeds over 250 km/h down our back straight requires enormous confidence not just in your own ability, but also in the ability of the driver next to you.
“Whilst the Gold Star Formula 3 cars may not be the heavyweights of motorsport in Australia they are certainly the most physically and mentally demanding pieces of machinery on Australian racetracks at the moment. If you have any intention of becoming a Formula One driver you have to be a winner in Formula 3."
The Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship last raced at Queensland Raceway in 2006, Tim Macrow breaking though to win his first F3 race at the circuit. The lap record was set one year earlier by Michael Trimble at 1m06.1159s.
Following the conformation of the Queensland round, the remainder of the 2009 series has rapidly fallen into place.
Round seven will be held as scheduled at Oran Park Raceway in Sydney the following weekend as part of the Shannons Nationals.
F3A has structured the entry to cover both the Queensland and Oran Park rounds and anticipates a majority of the competitors to compete at both rounds – boosting the grid for the Australian Drivers' Championship's farewell to the famous south-western Sydney circuit.
Oran Park's tradition surrounding the Gold Star has not been forgotten with the championship hoping its farewell to the track is a fitting tribute to the circuit's history and open-wheel past.
The final round of the 2009 championship will remain at Sandown Raceway in late November, F3A today also confirming that the suburban Melbourne circuit would host the F3 SuperPrix event as the season finale'.
The Formula 3 Australia management team are currently investigating several new format concepts and sponsorship options for the event to make it an appropriate season finale' and continue the SuperPrix tradition built over the last three years at Symmons Plains.