2011 F1RWRS Australian Grand Prix
The 2011 F1RWRS Australian Grand Prix was the eleventh round of the 2011 F1RWRS season, held at the Mount Panorama Circuit. The race was won by Ashley Watkinson after a start-line crash knocked out six cars before the race was red flagged.
The qualifying system was revamped with all drivers being forced to enter pre-qualifying. This decision was met with praise by the drivers normally in pre-qualifying but it also forced out several unsuspecting drivers. Championship leader Daniel Melrose did not qualify, along with the Prospec of David Koczo and the Minardi of Dave Simpson. Three Australians failed to make it out of pre-qualifying (Melrose, Frank Zimmer and Simpson) at their home race, an embaressing result. Pole position was taken by Gary Cameron in the Calinetic but this was negated later on in the race.
Race One and Restart
The start saw Cameron and Simon Redman get away well with Sammy Jones passing by Nicolas Steele. At the Cutting, Steele locked up and was hit by James Davies which started a major chain-reaction. Drivers involved in the crash included: Older Jr.,Giovanni Roda, Moll and Dougal Kerr. With the track completely blocked with heavily damaged cars, the race organizers decided to restart the race (with a length of 29 laps) and run a second qualifying session as the six cars involved were too heavily damaged to continue. Without a spare car, the six were forced to sit out the remainder of the race. In Qualifying 2, Thomas De Bock took pole but previous polesitter Gary Cameron started dead last after a crash. Cameron was displeased and complained to the press afterwards. Nicolas Steele was also furious and he ranted on the topic in later interviews.
At the start, De Bock lost first place to John Zimmer. De Bock was followed by Jones and Barii Mori. Not wanting to cause another major accident, most of the drivers drove conservatively around the mountainous circuit but the top four continued to attack the course. Nathanael Spencer, knowing that Melrose failed to qualify and that he needed to take points for the championship, drove conservatively and held on to fifth place. De Bock took the lead on Lap 3 but lost it to Zimmer one lap later.
On Lap 6, Sammy Jones crashed into De Bock, losing his front wing. De Bock braked a tad early but it was deemed a racing incident. This dropped both out of the battle for first with Zimmer leading by a large margin. De Bock pitted on Lap 10, letting Jones' damaged car through. However, Jones lost it at McPhillamy Park and he let Spencer and Chris Dagnall through. Meanwhile, unlike most races, the fresher tyres seemed to have little effect, meaning that the race could not be won by pitting first. Zimmer lost the lead to Dagnall on Lap 13 but regained the lead on Lap 15. Behind, Mori, Spencer, Dagnall Jones and Douglas Mann shuffled positions. Zimmer fell to fourth after a mistake on Lap 17; the top ten was now Mori, Spencer, D. Mann, J. Zimmer, Jones, Dagnall, De Bock, Watkinson, Lon and McAllister. Zimmer pitted on Lap 18, letting Douglas Mann into the lead.
Mann would not stay for long as he and Dagnall pitted on Lap 19. Watkinson took the lead but he was closely followed by De Bock. However, Watkinson outshone De Bock on the mountain and he was able to pull out a twelve second gap before the end of the race. Pippa Mann crashed with one lap to go, capping off an anonymous weekend. De Bock came home second with Spencer third. John Zimmer finished fourth, Redman was fifth, Barii Mori (who took fastest lap) was sixth, Chris Dagnall was seventh and Sammy Jones was eighth.
Standings After the Race
- Bold text indicates who still has a mathematical chance of becoming champion.
- Drivers' Championship standings
- Constructors' Championship standings
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