27 September 2013

THE second visit to the iconic Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit for the season provided a dramatic locale for the fifth round of the 2013 Radical Australia Cup, at the weekend. The penultimate round of the RAC produced the competitive racing the series is renowned for and helped decide one of the two classes – whilst the other will go down to the wire in the final round this October.

Neale Muston sealed the SR8 class title with two overall victories at the weekend whilst the SR3 class is set for a sensational title decider, with Phillip Island winner Simon Haggarty edging closer to class leader Liam Talbot thanks to a storming performance in the four-cylinder battle.

Haggarty, driving the No. 5 Haggarty Racing Team SR3 RS, scored the most points out of any driver at the weekend and closed to within 29 points of Talbot in the SR3 class standings ahead of Wakefield Park.

The overall RAC title battle also remains up for grabs with Muston leading Liam Talbot by 65 points – meaning the opportunity to win a fully funded drive in the UK Works team at a 2014 Radical European Masters series event remains open to either driver.

The RAC points score allows for drivers from each class to score equally for the overall championship, despite the SR8 cars having a performance advantage.

Muston headed home Peter White and the Chris Medland / Greg Smith combination in both races at the weekend, but the SR3 battle was where a majority of each race’s action was focussed.

In the first 45-minute encounter Oliver Smith held out Haggarty and Kim Burke, with Talbot close behind in fourth place.

Haggarty then turned the tables in race two, taking the SR3 win over Peter Johnston – who failed to finish the opening race – and Talbot.

Radical Team Melbourne’s Gary Walker finished fourth, just in front of the sister locally-based car driven by Robert Baird and GT racer, Dean Koutsoumidis.

The Phillip Island round saw regular RAC competitor George Miedecke take the step into Race Control for the first time, serving as the series driver standards observer.

Miedecke has been a regular co-driver in RAC endurance races plus works closely with several series competitors as a driver coach, mentoring and working with several drivers at each round. His move to race control offered a drivers perspective to race control decisions across the weekend.

RAC driver coaches at the weekend included regulars like Josh Hunt and, for the first time, V8 Supercars endurance racer, Karl Reindler – fresh from a start in the Sandown 500 the previous weekend.

Having access to the group of RAC driver coaches is a key part to competition within the series, with the likes of James Winslow and Nathan Antunes joining an expanded group of elite drivers at RAC events.  

Though not totally incident free, both of the weekends timed, 45-minute races were conducted at a hot pace with 25 laps completed in each.

The final round of the 2013 Radical Australia Cup will be held with the Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals at Wakefield Park, on October 18-20.


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