Doohan off the mark for 2023

Monday 20 March, 2023
Photo: Dutch Photo Agency

FIA Formula 2 Championship 

Jack Doohan has bounced back from a difficult start to his 2023 FIA Formula 2 Championship campaign in Bahrain to claim a podium in the second round of the season.
With the round taking place in Jeddah as part of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Doohan was a man on a mission over the weekend after picking up no points in the season opener earlier this month.
Starting off with a P8 in the Championship’s Free Practice session on Friday, Doohan managed to secure a second-row start for the Feature race, snatching fourth from Jehan Daruvala by just one thousandth of a second on his final flying lap in qualifying.
While eventual polesitter Victor Martins was seven tenths faster than the second placed Oliver Bearman, the next four places in qualifying were separated by half a tenth, with Frenchman Theo Pourchaire one thousandth off Bearman in third, Doohan and Daruvala four hundredths behind and Ayumu Iwasa a further nine thousandths off in sixth place.
Iwasa would go on to win the reverse-grid sprint race on Saturday, beating Martins and Daruvala, while Doohan ended up losing a place in the 20-lap race, starting from sixth place and finishing in seventh.
The Queenslander would stay cool, calm and collected for a frantic feature race though as he started in P4 and finished in second place behind race-winner Frederick Vesti.
A strong start saw Doohan slot into third early at the expense of Pourchaire and challenging Martins for second place before he dropped back down to fourth on lap seven during his pitstop, when Prema Racing got a fast-charging Vesti out ahead of him.
Undeterred by the loss in pace, Doohan remained focused and piled the pressure on Bearman to reclaim third place before race leader Martins had a spin not long after, gifting top spot to a new leader in Vesti and second place to Doohan.
The front two would remain unchanged for the rest of the race as the Aussie left Saudi Arabia with a runner-up finish and some valuable points.
Sitting in sixth overall after two rounds, Doohan is now just 13 points off new championship leader Ralph Boschung ahead of the third round at this month’s Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix on 30 March – 2 April.


IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship

Two Aussies were in action during the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s Sebring 12 Hour Race over the weekend with Matt Campbell and Josh Burdon both finishing the popular endurance race.
It was a mixed set of results for each driver as Campbell finished 11th overall and fifth in class, while Burdon and his team enjoyed a LMP3 class victory at 12th overall.
An error in Qualifying left Campbell and his Porsche Penske Motorsports teammates Felipe Nasr and Michael Christensen with plenty of work to do in the race after they qualified in seventh overall.
Unfortunately the trio could not improve on their position during the 12 hours as they completed 315 laps overall in their Porsche 993 and 20 minutes behind the eventual race winners, Pipo Derani, Alexander Sims and Jack Aitken.

Burdon and his Riley Motorsports/WeatherTech Racing teammates Gar Robinson and Felipe Fraga on the other hand produced a brilliant performance behind the wheel after qualifying P20 overall and fourth in class.
The trio each put in exceptional stints to navigate their way through the field as they edged out Orey Fidani, Matthew Bell and Lars Kern in the AWA Duqueine D08 by just one second to take the class win in thrilling fashion.
Three-time Supercars Champion Scott McLaughlin was also in action, with the NTT Indycar Series star finishing third outright and first in the LMP2 class alongside John Farano and Kyffin Simpson in the ORECA LMP2 07.
The next IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship event is the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach on 14-15 April.

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