V8 » 29 September 2008
Howard tests F3 champion Winslow.
James Winslow wasted little time in exploring his options after winning the Kumho Tyres Australian F3 title a week ago, getting behind the wheel of Howard Racing's Ford Falcon V8 Supercar at Queensland Raceway.
The Briton, who missed the chance to move up to either IndyCars or a sports prototype when his main sponsor collapsed at the start of the year, is keen to make a break from F3 after landing two titles in three years, sandwiching the Renault V6 title in 2007.
Although he is hoping to explore various opportunities before deciding on what path to follow in 2009, Winslow was delighted to be able to sample a V8 - the primary category in his adopted Australian homeland - and impressed straight away in the Howard machine.
Joining an official test for all V8 runners ahead of the forthcoming Bathurst round, Winslow joined Howard regular - and V8 stalwart - Dean Canto and quickly found himself lapping close to the outright pace.
"The team won the series two years ago with Adam Macrow, so I knew the car would be good, but we ran strongly, and ultimately achieved a time which mixed it with the top main game V8 teams testing for Bathurst," Winslow reported.
"It was my first test, and I only did about 18 laps, but we were quick straight away. I'm really pleased with my progress and was less than 0.7secs off the overall pace. I reckon I could have gone much quicker with a few more laps, but I was surprised at just how quick we were."
After following an open-wheel path throughout his career, it took Winslow a while to get used to driving with a roof over his head, and he admitted that he would have to think carefully about which route to follow if options arose in future.
"It is a completely different driving style compared to a single-seater and it would be hard to mix the two catergories," he explained.
"Howard Racing is a great team and helped me no end. I'm very pleased with how quickly we got on the pace in such a different car.
"It was an unfamiliar track, and a very different car to what I'm used too, so I want to thank the team for the opportunity. I look forward to doing more testing before a possible championship assault in 2009."
Despite the problems that followed the loss of his sponsor in March, Winslow is still hoping to contest both the non-championship Nikon Indy 300 support and Macau Grand Prix F3 races to bring the curtain down on his time in the category.
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