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NATIONAL SERIES WRAPPED UP AT THE ISLAND - 26/11/2000
Formula 3 Australia National Series, Philip Island, 26th November

James Manderson/RCH
The final round of the 2000 Formula 3 National Series finished at Phillip Island today with some spectacular racing and the spoils being evenly divided.

Young Melbourne driver James Manderson driving the Supreme S3 Dallara F395/6 Toms Toyota set a new lap record of 1.29.6424 in race one in pursuit of Darren Palmer, BRM Dallara F398 Opel Spiess who won race 1 after a fantastic drive, passing both Manderson and Sydney driver Peter Hackett, Piccola Scuderia Corse Dallara F397/8 Alfa. These top three drivers put on an entertaining show, treating the crowd to some fast open wheel action. Chas Jacobsen finished 4Th.

Going into the second race second and third places in the National Series were still up for grabs. Here again, it was the young guns of Manderson, Hackett and Palmer out in front and putting on passing moves defying the physics of adhesion. Manderson got the best start and away he went. Hackett and Palmer chasing hard. With 2 laps to go when it looked like Palmer would get Manderson, Palmer spun going into Honda and it was all over. This now settled the National Series Pointscore. Mark Rundle, BRM Dallara F396 Spies Opel, had a very strong drive from 9Th on the grid to finish 3rd.

Damien Digby, making his F3 debut (in the Paul Stephenson Dallara F395/6 Toms Toyota) was very impressive qualifying 4Th, finishing 5Th in race 1 and 4TH in race 2.

Manderson, during the season, has now set 3 lap records, won 3 of the last 6 races and finished 2nd in the other. Unfortunately, he did not have the budget for a full season and under the circumstances, made an exceptional transition from Formula Vee. Darren Palmer also proved to extremely competent in his debut year in Formula 3. He, also did not contest the full season, having missed the last round at Sandown through illness.

Final points for the 200 National Series: Paul Stephenson 195, Peter Hackett 131, Chas Jacobsen 104, Darren Palmer 103, James Manderson 102, Peter Rees 93, Mark Rundle 78, Glenn Coombs 61, Chris Coombs 56.

The Level 2 Series (for 24mm restrictor) was won by Mike Beeley on 200 points from David Choon 167 and Frank Cascone 98. The Sportsman’s Division (for aluminium cars, the last time they can run with the F3’s) was won by Bill Maddocks.

PAUL STEPHENSON OFF TO ENGLAND.

The prize for winning the Formula 3 National Series is a test in England with a professional F3 Team. This years winner, Paul Stephenson leaves on Sunday to go to England for his test, which will be conducted by Alan Docking Racing. Paul has a number of English F3 Teams waiting to meet with him on his arrival.

For further information, please contact Fred Douglas 0408 320 094