2015 NSW SuperSport Cars / Radical Clubman Cup Round 2 WAKEFIELD PARK RACEWAY 11th of April 2015
16 April 2015

It was a long summer wait for the first round of the NSW Motor Race Championship and after a five month break the 1st round was upon us at Wakefield Park. This round of the SuperSports series also made up Round 2 of the Radical Clubman Cup, the mini championship starting off as a star support category at the Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour in early February.

Drizzle fell on the track late Friday night and in the early hours of Saturday morning but fortunately the skies cleared up for race day.  The format for the round was to be Qualifying and 3 races all in one day on Saturday, which has proved to be a popular format for these events.  A rolling start is also part of the championship in 2015; this was trialed last season with great success and brings the championship into line with normal Radical start procedures. 

The field was smaller than normal as expected due to school and Easter Holidays, but still drew in competitive group of Radical Racers. Peter Paddon, Oliver Smith, Chris Sutton and Kim Burke were all in Class One for SR3’s, with Burke was making the Clubman Cup debut of the new Radical SR3RSX, a very striking car. Nick Kelly and Greg Smith were set to do battle in Class Three with the imposing and very powerful Radical SR8’s while Darren Barlow and Paul Palmer made up the rest of the grid in their sports racers.

 Qualifying held on early Saturday morning proved that the field of Radicals was going to be very competitive. Seven out of the eight cars were only separated by a mere 2 seconds.  There were a few little dramas during the session with Oliver Smith having a spin at turn 5 in what looked like a little over exuberance and Palmer going off at turn 2, the nose of his car acting  like a shovel picking up plenty of dirt and dumping it onto the track.  Unfortunately Kelly found that dirt while on a hot lap and went straight off at high speed through turn 3, but no apparent damage was done.

At the flag Barlow in the Stohr proved to be quick enough to claim outright pole with a time of 57.2924, Greg Smith lining up beside him on the grid a mere 2 tenths behind  with Nick Kelly a further 2 tenths behind after both SR8’s had elected to skip the Friday practice day.

The SR3 class was even more hotly contested  with Kim Burke taking the first Pole position for the new Radical SR3 RSX by 7/100ths of a second from a chasing Peter Paddon, with Oliver Smith not far behind and Chris Sutton making an impressive debut in his new Radical SR3 setting up a great day of racing ahead.

Race 1

The race started cleanly although Barlow was completely swamped by the field leaving Kelly and Greg Smith battling for the lead at turn 1. As the cars made the turn some drivers backed off and this resulted in Sutton jumping onto the brakes and locking his rear wheels, his car eventually stopped on the infield. Sutton rejoined in last place with plenty of ground to make up. At front it was Kelly, G Smith and Barlow dicing for the lead while Paddon and Oliver Smith were all over each other in the midfield. By lap 3 Kelly had a slight lead from Greg Smith who was trying to keep Barlow s Stohr at bay.  Barlow was very quick at the back of the circuit while the Radicals had the speed advantage in the straights.

Kelly led the race from start to finish opening his 2015 Supersports campaign in the best possible way. Greg Smith finished a strong third overall. Burke in the new car had a quiet and steady race coming home fourth and first of the SR3, a great debut with more speed to come. Sutton recovered from his early spin to finish seventh albeit a lap down.  The unfortunate Palmer was having a difficult run having 3 separate excursions onto the grass area, having his debut race at Wakefield Park; he was the last classified finisher.  

Race 2

The second race was held in sunnier conditions with increased track temperature and as the cars came past the pits for the rolling start it was again Barlow in the Stohr who struggled to  match the power of the Radicals at the start. Greg Smith spun at high speed at the back straight kink of turn 9 which caused some hesitation in the rest of the field which, worst affected was Kim Burke who was right behind Greg at the time, and this allowed Oliver Smith to mug Kim for the SR3 lead braking into turn 10. Greg rejoined the race in last position but later retired the car with some issues after the high speed off.

Up front Barlow was chasing down Kelly for the lead eventually providing a thrilling duel with the lightweight sports racer trying multiple late braking manoeuvres at turn 10, which is the last corner and leads onto the straight, and for one lap he did manage to get past Kelly, however Kelly s SR8 had horsepower to spare and came back past on the straight. In mid pack Paddon was racing very hard with Burke over the remaining podium positons for their class and got very close through the Turn 1 kink on the main straight and attempted a move into Turn 2, but came unstuck, literally, with his rear wheels locking and pitching the car into a spin and the gravel.

While this was happening Palmer who was about to be lapped seemed to move out of the way to let Kelly through under blue flags but unfortunately changed line and the two made quite heavy contact. This threw Kelly’s car into the air in one of those F1 style crashes and the red SR8 came down on top of Palmer’s West before sliding off to the side. Kelly was able to continue despite the damage to the side and bottom of his car but the West was heavily damaged and stranded half was down the course. The Race was red flagged while medical crews checked on Palmer and Paddon’s car was retrieved. The final result on countback to the last green flag lap ment Kelly took the overall win from Barlow with Oliver Smith being the first SR3 home in a strong 3rd overall ahead of Burke, Paddon and Sutton.

Race 3

Both the Palmer and Kelly cars would not start the final race due to damage incurred during race 2 so with only six cars starting this race you could have expected there to be plenty of racing room, but at the start as the cars reached the kink in the straight Oliver Smith was squeezed by Burke and had to take avoiding action at high speed. This sent him into a high speed spin; he was able to rejoin the race albeit half a lap behind. Burke in the new car had a lonely run home to finish 2nd overall in the Trophy race untroubled by the guys behind. The battle for third was intense between Greg Smith who was coming from the rear of the grid in his SR8, Paddon and the already impressive and still improving Sutton in SR3’s. These three drivers diced for most of the race with Greg Smith coming out on top and netting third.

The good quality of the small field was able to provide some great racing for all involved. The next Supersports round is another one day meeting to be held at Sydney Motor Sport Park and has been incorporated into the Radical Australia Cup Championship on May 2nd. Grid numbers will be back to normal and we all anticipate some great racing.


RESULTS

Round Results Radical Clubman Cup

SR8

1    99  Nick Kelly (NSW)            Industrie                                 Radical SR8  ( Class Three)       

2    78  Greg Smith (NSW)          Radical Australia        Radical SR8    ( Class Three)     

 

SR3

1   68  Kim Burke (NSW )           Radical Australia          Radical SR3 (Class one)

2   31 Peter Paddon (NSW)         First Focus                  Radical SR3 (Class one)       

3   86  Oliver Smith (NSW)         Radical Australia          Radical SR3 (Class one)     

 

Round results SuperSports

Race 1

1    99  Nick Kelly (NSW)         Industrie                                     Radical SR8  ( Class Three)       

2     2  Darren Barlow (NSW)                                                   Stohr Wf1 ( Class Two)          

3    78  Greg Smith (NSW)       Radical Australia                         Radical SR8    ( Class Three)     

 

Race 2        

1    99  Nick Kelly (NSW)         Industrie                                     Radical SR8  ( Class Three)       

2     2  Darren Barlow (NSW)                                                    Stohr Wf1 ( Class Two)          

3    86  Oliver Smith (NSW)       Radical Australia               Radical SR3    ( Class Three)     

 

Race 3

1     2  Darren Barlow (NSW)  Stohr Wf1 ( Class Two)

2     68  Kim Burke (NSW)          Raw Racing                     Radical SR3RSX ( Class one)     

3     78  Greg Smith (NSW)         Radical Australia             Radical SR8          ( Class one)

 

NB: Written Richard Crawshay edits from Radical Australia.

 
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