Tom Tweedie wrapped up the Formula 3 Australian Driver's Championship National Class title at Queensland Raceway last weekend and beat the strongest class field of the year in the process.
The performance again confirmed why the 20-year-old is one of the rising young stars of Australian Motorsport, wrapping up the title after just six rounds and continuing to mix it with the later-model cars racing for the Gold Star.
Tweedie scored his ninth and tenth class victories of the season and finished inside the outright top five on two occasions, despite facing the deepest grid of the year intent on unsettling the proven 2009 pacesetter in F304 cars, F3's 'race within a race'.
Revelling in the challenge that saw four cars covered by less than three-tenths in qualifying two, Tweedie outlasted and outplayed his rivals to end up with two class wins driving his #19 Team Tom-Battery World-Tizzana Vineyards Dallara F304-Renault.
The results at the weekend, racing in front of a three-day crowd of nearly 50,000, mean that Tweedie and his small family-run team can now spend the remaining two rounds focussing solely on knocking off some of the leading championship cars fighting for the Gold Star – something they have already achieved on more than one occasion this year.
“The weekend was fantastic!” Tweedie beamed. “To be crowned National Class Champion for 2009 with two rounds to go is a huge credit to everyone at Team Tom – and there was no better way to do it than winning the class in both races at the weekend.
“I knew before we raced that we would be up against some tough competition, especially with Chris Gilmour returning and Rio Haryanto joining the series from Asia, so this is a great result and it's very satisfying to have that kind of competition and still come out on top.”
Race one was the most competitive of the 2009 season to date, with a pitched battle for not only the outright lead but for the National class as well.
“I got a good start in race one and was forced to tuck in behind Gilmour at turn two,” Tweedie explained. “From there I had to keep the pressure on and took an opportunity to pass Chris at the last corner of the last lap – I just managed to pull the car up and get around turn six without losing the place back again.
“Race two was also good – Rio got the start but I was able to get past when he served a drive through penalty. So after that I could see the TanderSport F307 ahead of me make some mistakes so I tried to close the gap down before the end of the race.
“I think reliability and mistake-free races are what have made my season so good. Thanks again to Battery World – their support has definitely helped us win the National Class title and I looking forward to next week at Oran Park, where hopefully we can continue the success!”