11 May 2012

Reigning RADICAL AUSTRALIA CUP champ Ed Singleton tackled the world-famous Spa Francorchamps circuit last weekend, as his prize for winning the title last year.

In what is one of the biggest awards on offer at the end of any national series in Australia, Singleton won a fully-funded drive in a round of the European Radical Masters series held at the Belgian circuit.

As a major support to the round of the World Endurance Championship sportscar event held the same weekend, Singleton’s prize was a fully-funded drive in a Radical SR3 supplied by the works team for the two, 50-minute races.

The award was funded by Radical Australia with contributions from the Radical factory in the UK and flights from RAC supporters Travel Plan.

With the 44 car field made up of a mixture of SR8 and SR3 entries, Singleton qualified 39th but rapidly progressed through the field across the weekend.

He finished 27th in race one (inside the top 10 of the SR3 field) and was set to progress further in the second before technical difficulties struck on the grid.

With the car stuck in reverse, Singleton missed the start and lost a lap before being able to rejoin the competition in treacherous wet conditions. However, race officials then decided to exclude Singleton from the race having failed to take the start.

Despite the dramas, Singleton professed the experience ‘incredible’ and ably represented the high standard of the Radical Australia Cup with his performance. 

“It was an amazing experience,” Singleton said.

“The SR3 grid was split by about 3 seconds, with ‘not-so-fast Ed’ qualifying 39th but I was able to rise to the challenge during the race as I gained confidence and was able to finish 27th and inside the top ten in my class.

“Up to that point I was fortunate enough to have experienced a dry track – a rarity at Spa – however the final day was wet, cold and rainy and when we gridded up an official directed me to reverse to my grid spot. Then disaster struck as I was unable to get the car out of reverse!”

Singleton was able to rejoin, but after being called to pit lane decided that he had got more than enough out of the experience.

“I decided that Spa was not the place to learn how to drive a Radical in the rain!” he exclaimed.

“Racing there was an incredible experience – the track is challenging and exciting, with no amount of YouTube viewing or track notes able to fully prepare you for the place.

“Eau Rouge is a blast, though it took plenty of laps before I was able to take it flat out. The correct line is critical, with a fair amount of kerb required to get the correct exit, as is the case with much of the circuit.

“The best comparison I have of the place is a combination of Mount Panorama and Phillip Island mixed with fog, rain and sunshine – then throw in a few Marshalls running onto the track now and then to recover debris or assist stranded vehicles. There was even a tilt tray dispatched onto the track mid-race driving up Eau Rouge under white flags; Just like the Bathurst of old!”

Singleton said he was fortunate to have the assistance of a strong support crew to assist the learning process as he adapted to not only the challenging circuit, but the different style of racing often witnessed in Europe.

“I had the valuable assistance of Mike Reedy and my Radical UK data engineer, David, to help all weekend and with them my times improved over the course of practice and qualifying to the point of me being reasonably happy by the time it came to hitting the track for race one.

“I left Spa buzzing,” Singleton added.

“The Radical UK team were fantastic, from Anthony and Jordan who looked after the car to David the Data engineer and Phil & Amanda Abbot who ran the show.

“I also have to thank my Aussie support crew of Mike and Stephen – who drove from the UK – and Emily who sat around for hours in the chilly conditions.

“Also a big thanks to Radical Australia for making the trip possible.”

Radical Australia’s Greg Smith said the series was excited to be able to offer it’s drivers such an award for their local success.

“We’re delighted that Ed has been able to have this experience and opportunity to work with the wider, global Radical family,” he said.

“Radical Australia prides itself on offering incredible value for money for our competitors and having a prize like this up for grabs at the end of the year is proof of that. Ed did himself and everyone here proud with his efforts and did a great job of representing the Radical Australia Cup amongst the vest best in Europe.”

The winner of the 2012 Radical Australia Cup – which has Glyn Edis and Tony Palmer tied for the lead at present – will receive a similar experience as their prize for winning this season.

The next round of the 2012 Radical Australia Cup will be held at Sydney’s Eastern Creek Raceway on May 19-20.

Article produced by Richard Craill - Race Torque Media on behalf of Radical Australia.

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