Radical Australia success at Top Gear Live Festival
22 March 2011

The team from Radical Australia made a successful debut into the Victorian market at the Top Gear Live four day festival at Melbourne Showgrounds!
A three car team led by Garth Walden, Radical Australia's Factory Driver and Workshop Manager, traveled to Melbourne on March 11th for the four day Top Gear Live festival.  Activities included a competitive time trial involving over 120 cars and other vehicles.  Whilst Clarkson and May were performing in the Bigtop, Walden fronted up for the daily challenge of 4 x sprints each day for four days against the clock.

Renato Loberto helped design what appeared to be an impossibly tight 1.5km course through the grounds and pavilions of Melbourne Showgrounds.  Armco fences are bounded,  ensuring millimetre perfect accuracy needed to avoid serious damage.  And carnage was delivered - some larger and very expensive cars withdrew from the event during round one, thanks to unintended contact with track surrounds.  Many cars even have to perform 3 point turns to navigate the 90 degree sharp bends.  Several demonstration drift cars came awry on a circuit which included diabolically kerbed gutters in some sections.

Whilst a Radical Events SR3 and a new Radical SR8 RX were on display at the exhibition hall, Radical Australia set up in the pits next to Holden Racing Team.  Pressure to perform and keep the car in good order was palpable.

Participants in the Top Gear Challenge ranged from classic group C Australian Muscle cars, a solar car piloted by Derrick Rodgers and SAE cars built by RMIT students, some of whom were fellow alumni of Josh, our new full-time apprentice at Radical Australia.  At the pointy end there was serious competition amongst tarmac rally and circuit racing cars.  Added to the mix were a smattering of superkarts which everyone thought were the obvious contenders for an outright win through the tightly chicaned circuit.

Garth Walden stole the day with some amazing driving.  The Top Gear commentators had a real contest on their hand and the tens of thousands of spectators witnessed some hotly-contested time trialling. 

Have a look at the link below to the Radical TV and see for yourself what a run with Garth Walden looks like from the drivers seat!

Radical TV

Peter Gazzard the ex-V8 Supercar driver was a serious challenger in his monster Evo 10, as was Dean Evans in his tarmac rally Evo.  As the weekend progressed a clutch of cars including a superkart on steriods swapped fastest lap times with literally 100's of seconds separating the three.

Ultimately it came down to a shootout on the last round of the last day with Walden in the orange Radical SR3 with number 51, in recognition to Greg Murphy who was in the pits lending morale support.  Up for grabs was the fastest outright time and also the trophy for  fastest car.  Garth Walden beat the superkart and Gazzard stretched himself only to tank slap the Armco fences and provide his team with a narrower car.

Radical Australia with Garth Walden as Factory Driver took honours for fastest overall and fastest car.  Obviously Garth used the event to fine tuning his driving skills for Spa-Francorchamp where he will represent Australia in the Radical European Masters round in May this year.  The fully funded drive was gifted by the two front runners of the 2010 Industrie Radical Australia Cup, Nick Kelly and Peter Opie.  At the worldwide launch of the new SR8 RX at the Radical 250 in December 2011, Phil Abbott and Nick Dove announced the seat would be upgraded from an SR3 to an SR8 RX.

The trophies from Top Gear are on show in the Radical hospitality suite at Eastern Creek.
 
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