30 April 2012

TONY PALMER has won round two of the Radical Australia Cup, presented by MPA Projects, this weekend at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, after a pair of dramatic and unpredictable races that just about had it all.

After qualifying fourth, Palmer took his #70 Radical Events sponsored SR3RS to a narrow victory in race one, on Saturday, before clinching the weekend overall with a second-place finish in race two today.

Palmer edged out Simon Haggarty by just 0.5 seconds in race one and only fell short of taking the second race by a similar margin – ultimately ceding the win to regular RAC frontrunner Glyn Edis’ SR3 Cup Car after a three-way fight to the flag between the pair and reigning champion Ed Singleton.

Edis finished second for the round and Radical newcomer Nick Stavropoulos a superb third overall - thanks to two consistent races - but it was Palmer with the biggest grin of all thanks to his round win.

“I’m really pleased - there was plenty happening over the weekend. We focused on having a good race in awesome cars, on an awesome track and in awesome weather,” he enthused, noting the massive step forward the series has taken this year.

“Today (Sunday) we had a great dice with Glyn and Ed and it’s just what you wanted to see – it was a really good experience. There has been a 200% improvement in the competition this season and the driving standards and level of racing continue to improve.

“There are half a dozen, or more, guys who could win every round we go to and some of the new regulations introduced this year have made it even more open. There are the experienced guys doing a great job and some newcomers who have come in have stood out, and are taking it really seriously.

“It’s a long season and there is plenty of racing to go. Consistency is the key and we continue to work on car setup and development and fine-tuning it to each circuit.”

Palmer sat second for most of the first race, before a safety car intervention late in the 50-minute affair created dramas throughout the field and shuffled the order; dropping leader Edis to seventh and elevating Palmer one place to a lead he wouldn’t lose.

Today’s second 50-minute race was a more straightforward affair with the three-way fight for the lead dominating the proceedings in the final laps.

The Imak - Kwikmit Radical SR3 Cup Car of Andrew Macpherson and Formula Vee ace Ben Porter led the early stages, the car even setting a new Phillip Island class lap record on lap 12 (1:33.5948s) before their compulsory pit stop.

That dropped them down the order with Edis assuming the lead following the completion of the pit stop shuffle.

Stavropoulos inherited second place but a flying Palmer passed him for second with six laps remaining, Ed Singleton following him through in the process.

However, and in an appropriate return after his Saturday disappointment, Edis held out Palmer with the charging Singleton in third place attacking the leaders in the final laps. 
The three cars were covered by less than one second as they crossed the line.

Edis and Palmer now jointly lead the Radical Australia Cup following the second round, tied on 111 points each. Singleton sits third (86) with Simon Haggarty (81) and Steve Shelley (80) in close company.

Andrew Macpherson leads the Masters Class championship order, over Tony Haggarty – who finished third in race one this weekend – and Greg Smith.

The next round of the 2012 Radical Australia Cup presented by MPA Projects 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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