James Winslow is on the verge of being forced to call time on his Kumho Tyres Australian F3 Championship bid after his season-long struggle to find the required funding appears to have reached an end.
Despite the multiple championship winner being among the favourites to win to 2008 title after winning at three of the last four events, the loss of major backer Opes Prime earlier in the year has left Winslow scratching around for the money to compete, making each of the last three rounds at the eleventh hour. Despite that, and having driven three different cars for different teams, the Briton has kept himself in title contention - until now.
Although his off-track problems have prevented him from keeping his mind on racing, Winslow still managed to win at both Oran Park and Phillip Island, before producing the performance of the season as he blitzed the rest of a high-class field at the latest round at Eastern Creek. Having again managed to piece together a budget for the weekend, the Briton lapped almost a second a lap faster than anyone else as he waltzed to victory by a massive 11.8secs.
After taking his 31st international single-seater victory, the reigning Formula Renault V6 champion is within touching distance of the points lead with only two rounds remaining in the championship, but knows that the three wins this year could have been more, as bad luck also plagued him on-track, with another three victories lost due to other drivers' mistakes that left Winslow out of the race or with a damaged car.
“I can't believe it,” Winslow said, “We have come so far, worked so hard and fought all the way, but the time has come, unless we can find a sponsor within the next three days, to say 'it's all over'!
"Team BRM has given me the equipment and we have broken records and won races. We are just flying at the moment and, since Mallala, should have won every single race, so it's a real shame to have to give up on the championship when we have been through so much and come this close to taking another title. I have had some great people behind me and I'm sorry I can't give them the championship.”
The schedule goes to Phillip Island next weekend [9-10 August] before concluding at Symmons Plains over 20-21 September, before Surfers Paradise holds a non-points finale alongside the IndyCar Series in October.
Anyone interested in helping James Winslow be on the grid, or requiring further information, is urged to contact him directly on 0450 307 860.