Radical Australia Cup Round 2 / SuperSports SMSP
05 May 2015

The weather had been unsettled leading up to the 2nd round of the Supersport NSW state Championship and Radical Australia Cup. Sydney had been battered by storm over the previous weeks and the trend looked likely to continue over the weekend. The grass verges of the track were sodden and any car that didn’t stay on the black stuff would certainly encounter trouble. The entry list for the round was larger in numbers than the previous round, so was bound to ensure good racing up and down the field.

 

 

 

 

 

The Class 1 field consisted of series debutants Greg Kenny and Yasser Shahin, along with returnee Chris Sutton and some series regulars Oliver Smith, Kosta Pohonukov, Peter Johnston, Michael Whiting, Sue Hughes Phil Anseline and David Crampton all in Radical SR3’s. In the class for Radical SR8’s the very fast Neale Muston was joined by Greg Smith, John Corbett and in his first race at the helm of a Radical SR8 as well as first race in NSW Supersports, Robert Baird from Victoria. Darren Barlow was the only class two entrant in the Stohr. In total 16 cars came out to qualify in what was a wet but drying track, clouds were looming in the distance but no precipitation fell during the session.  Pole went to Greg Smith in the Radical SR8 and alongside him was John Corbett also in an SR8. The fastest SR3 was Peter Paddon who managed a brilliant 3rd on the outright grid while the lone Stohr of Barlow qualified a lowly 11th.

  Race 1

Rolling starts were the order of the day (as it will be for the rest of the year) and the cars came onto the track in very wet conditions, there was standing water in most places and the outfield was water logged creating muddy rivers running across the track at a couple of key points.  The cars crossed the start line and as the lights went green accelerated towards the first turn jostling for positions. During the lap there was confusion over the “slippery surface” flag which was being shown on the newly installed marshalling light systems, and what may have looked like a red flag (in lights) and the leaders all slowed- but not Oliver Smith who saw through the confusion to seize the outright lead. As the cars came past for the conclusion of the first lap the order was; Oliver Smith with a healthy lead over Corbett, Greg Smith and Peter Paddon.  Muston who had started from the back of the grid after a qualifying encounter with the wall was in seventh place. Muston was carving through the field and by the second lap was in second place and hunting down the leader.

Amongst the mid field there were great battles forming.  Shahin and Baird was one of many, they had a slight touch at turn two and fortunately for both they continued on to finish the race.  By the fourth lap Muston was right behind Oliver Smith and ready to pounce.  As they crossed the line at the end of lap five Muston used the might of his RPE V8 to power past Smith on the straight and take the lead, leaving Smith to deal with an in form John Corbett.  Muston was the class of the field and went on to win from Corbett, third place went to Baird on his race debut in his new Radical SR8. After the great start and leading for four laps Oliver Smith finished a strong 4th outright.  Congratulations were due to all the drivers, considering the tough conditions the racing was clean and all stayed on the track.

Race 2

The second race was held in slightly dryer conditions; Corbett made a brilliant start beating Muston into the first corner. Baird, Paddon and Oliver Smith also made great starts and headed towards the front of the pack amidst a huge cloud of spray thrown up by the field. By the second lap Muston had passed Corbett and regained the lead while behind him there was a six car dice for the podium positions.  Corbett, Baird, Paddon, Oliver Smith, Pohonukov and Greg Smith were only separated by a second.  Unfortunately Pohonukov retired while in a strong position.  Back in midfield the Stohr of Barlow made a puff of Blue smoke just before turn one at the end of the main straight. As the car came past on the following lap, the puff hat turned into a continuous trail of smoke which covered the visor of Shahin who was in hot pursuit. The following lap the smoke was bellowing out leading to a retirement with terminal engine trouble. Up front Muston was pulling away from Corbett who in turn was building a gap to the third position dice between Baird, G Smith and Paddon. The final result was Muston in first place from Corbett and Baird. Again Muston showed his class, lapping two seconds faster than the second placed driver and nearly four seconds quicker than the mid field SR3’s.

Race 3

The third and final race was held in very dark conditions at the end of the day. Incidents in the previous races (other classes) and a brief pause for a heavy rain shower caused a delay in proceedings. With the only Stohr not being able to start 14 Radicals prepared to do battle in the gloomy conditions. The cars started the final race under what were possibly the worst conditions of the day so far with fading light and the track being thoroughly wet with rivulets of water waiting for the unwary. The field started cleanly but it all came unstuck at turn one. With cars trying to find racing room and the a suggestion of oil on the track, several of the front running cars broke traction and went into half spins causing 6 or 7 cars to leave the track in avoidance. An unfortunate Phil Anseline ran out of real estate after contact with Shahin and Hughs and his car slid to a halt with heavy damage to the front and further damage to the rear. This mishap forced the safety car to come out and once the dust had settled (or should I say mud) some of the faster guys found themselves at the back of the field.

As the cars came past the start line behind the safety car the order was: Muston, Corbett, Baird, and Oliver Smith. Some of the faster guys like Paddon and Greg Smith were at the back of the field. It took a long time to extract Anseline’s car from the mud so the field was stuck behind the safety car for five laps, leaving only the second half of the race under green flag conditions. As the safety car pulled into the pits the rain had started to fall again and visibility was poor, but we were set for a sprint race to the flag. The field was tightly bunched and there was some intense racing particularly amongst the SR3’s with Shahin, Smith and Paddon all fighting for prize positions. Yasser Shahin crossed the line first but was later given a 30 second post-race penalty for a what race officials perceived as a jump on the restart. Paddon, Smith and Peter Johnston were next, with Michael Whiting making a great showing coming home 4th in class for his best result to date. Sue Hughes battled on to finish 12th overall, only to find after the race that she’d sustained a broken wrist and finger during the turn 1 fracas. Neale Muston came out on top outright, giving him 3 wins from just as many starts, John Corbett finished 2nd capping off a great week end and  Rob Baird came home 3rd. Peter Paddon was the first SR3 home in 4th position followed by Oliver Smith And Yasser Shahin to complete the Class 1 podium.

It was great to see a few new faces at this round and all drivers drove exceptionally well considering the very trying conditions, to finish the day with only one unfortunate accident under the worst of conditions was a sign of the quality of the drivers and the category. Supersports combined with the Radical Australia Cup is proving to offer a great atmosphere and thrilling racing this year, so we all look forward to the coming rounds! If you have a car but haven’t been able to enter a race yet, do whatever you can to get involved!

Next time out will see the field at Wakefield Park on June 20th for another one day race event.

RADICAL AUSTRALIA CUP ROUND 2 RESULTS:

SR8 Podium
1st Neale Muston
2nd John Corbett
3rd Robert Baird

 

SR3 Podium
1st Peter Paddon
2nd Oliver Smith
3rd Yasser Shahin

Race 1

 

1    41  EXCALIBUR RACING               Neale Muston (NSW)       Radical SR8         

2    66  RAW RACING                     John Corbett (NSW)       Radical SR3         

3    11  EXDRA MOTORSPORT             Robert Baird (VIC)       Radical SR8         

4          86  RADICAL AUSTRALIA          Oliver Smith (NSW)    Radical SR3 ( 1st in Class)         

Race 2        

1    41  EXCALIBUR RACING               Neale Muston (NSW)       Radical SR8         

2    66  RAW RACING                     John Corbett (NSW)       Radical SR8         

3    11  EXDRA MOTORSPORT             Robert Baird (VIC)       Radical SR8         

5          31  FIRST FOCUS                    Peter Paddon (NSW)       Radical SR3 ( 1st in Class)

Race 3

1    41  EXCALIBUR RACING               Neale Muston (NSW)       Radical SR8         

2    66  RAW RACING                     John Corbett (NSW)       Radical SR8         

3    11  EXDRA MOTORSPORT             Robert Baird (VIC)       Radical SR8         

4           31  FIRST FOCUS                     Peter Paddon (NSW)       Radical SR3 ( 1st in Class)

 

 

 
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