Andy Knight scored a podium finish in just his third race outing in the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship at Queensland Raceway west of Brisbane on Sunday.
The Christchurch driver brought his Astuti Motorsport Renault - Sodemo Dallara F304 home 3rd in the first of two 20 lap races at the 3.12 kilometre circuit. Knight was very much to the fore in the race engaging in a tough battle with several of the established frontrunners in the series.
Knight backed up the podium finish with a 4th placing in the second race after losing time when he put a wheel off the circuit while challenging eventual 2nd place finisher Stuart Kostera.
In his second appearance in the series Knight was on the pace from the beginning of proceedings. He set the 2nd fastest time in the opening practice session on Friday and carried that pace into qualifying to set a time 1/10th of a second off the quickest lap in the first session on Saturday.
While the Formula 3 car is quite different to the Toyota Racing Series car that Knight has experienced much success with in New Zealand, he has quickly come to grips with the category.
"It was good to get a result", said the 20 - year - old on his return to New Zealand yesterday. "Qualifying was close and we were just 1/10th of a second away from the front, although ultimately we probably did not quite have the pace to win".
The Queensland round saw the race wins go to Knight's team mate Michael Trimble and Tim Macrow, both seasoned campaigners in the category. Meanwhile British driver Ben Clucas clinched the championship despite being absent from the round.
The outing was only Knight's second start in the championship after racing with success in America earlier in the year. He now looks ahead to the Toyota Racing Series in New Zealand where he has placed in the top three of the championship in each of the last two years.
Formula 3 race cars are lightweight, high downforce, high grip, "wings and slicks" cars that lap most Australian racing circuits 5 - 6 seconds a lap quicker than V8 Supercars. The Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship is contested each year for the prestigious CAMS Gold Star.