John Martin believes that he could have completed a clean sweep of last weekend's Nikon Indy 300 F3 Challenge had it not been for the appearance of the safety car in the third and final race at Surfers Paradise.
The Australian, making a rare return to his homeland after competing in this year's British F3 series, collected five fastest laps, pole position, two wins and an overall success in the various sessions on the Gold Coast, but had to give best to new Kumho Tyres champion Winslow - ironically a Briton racing 'down under - in the third outing.
“In the last race, James forced a little too much and I had to lift off going into T1, but we still had the fastest car, and it was just a matter for me to bide my time before I got past, so it was a shame that the safety car period was so long because I had the measure of him," Martin reflected.
"We had the fastest lap in every session – practice, qualifying, and all three races. The car and Piccola Scuderia team were just awesome and I'd also like to thank HDT and AMSF for their support. I could have gone into the low 1min 47secs during qualifying such was our pace - but I didn't need to.”
Finishing fastest in every single practice, qualifying and race session, the A1GP driver also provided a welcome end-of-year boost for the Piccola Scuderia outfit, beating season-long frontrunners like Winslow and Leanne Tander and experienced returnee Chris Alajajian by a margin as large as seven seconds as the rest of the field struggled to find the necessary pace to keep up.
Surfers Paradise was the second street circuit at which the Piccola team dominated this year, following the series-opening Adelaide Clipsal 500, where it won with a front monoshock set-up.
“P1 in practice, pole position, two wins out of three - you can't get much better than that," A1 Team Australia manager Adam Gotch commented, "It was a fantastic result on the Gold Coast for John Martin and the Piccola Scuderia team.”