Radical Clubman Cup: Round 1 - Eastern Creek
23 March 2011

What a finish only three-tenths of a second between 1st and 3rd position!

The 2011 Radical Clubman Cup joined the SuperSports category as part of the 2011 NSW Motor Race Championships.  SuperSports, which ran last year as part of the Sports & Racing category split in 2011 due to growing numbers.  Radicals SR3s made up the majority of the 16-car field.

Michael Shaw, last year's NSW Racing and Sports Car category Rookie of the Year, set the pace in qualifying a second ahead of newcomer (to the category) Neale Muston and regular, Peter Opie.  Most drivers couldn't get a clean lap due to the wet conditions and also (in part) to traffic where some were following others around the racetrack!

In race one, Richard Bloomfield managed to charge through the field from fifth on the grid to be second at the end of lap one, under these wet conditions.  In lap two he was able to get ahead of Opie.  Behind them Shaw worked hard to catch up after dropping back to sixth place (in lap one), and then worked his way back up to eventually pass Opie in lap eight but just missing out on the win by one-thousandth of a second behind Bloomfield.  The rest of the field was well spread out around the circuit.  Everyone finished the race, with only two competitors down one lap at the chequered flag.

In race two, Bloomfield had his hands full not just with the weather, but also with Shaw and Opie.  The two pushed him around the circuit for the first five laps, until he went wide on the wet concrete at turn six and spun.  This allowed Opie to pass both cars as Shaw avoided Bloomfield.  Opie was then able to skip away from the field to cross the line six-seconds ahead of Shaw.  Muston, who had a very busy weekend with family commitments and also driving his Porsche in Production Sports Cars, was forced to miss the first race on Saturday.  Starting rear of grid on Sunday's race two he charged back through the field to be fourth at the end of lap one.  He too managed to miss the spinning Bloomfield and eventually finished in third place, 14 seconds behind Shaw.  Once again, the Radical's finished the race in what would have to have been the worst racing conditions over the whole weekend.

Sunday afternoon's weather started to clear for race three, and Opie led from the start to the chequered flag.  He was pushed all the way by both Muston and Shaw, then latter unfortuantely penalised for sixty-seconds after the race for passing Muston under the yellow flag.  Despite crossing the line in third place, Shaw lost his position to Bloomfield and was eventually classified as twelfth-overall.  Rounding out the race 3 result were Phil Anseline in 4th sport (consistent as ever and a strong performance after qualifying 7th), Greg Smith, who recovered well after a Race 1 spin, coming home behind Shelley's 5th place, George Davis (also in his rookie Radical year) in 8th behind Pethard, and Sue Hughes in 9th.  Mark Hurcum was unlucky to spin on lap two DNF.

The Driver Excellence Award went to Steve Shelley, who consistently chased the front runners, this is the first time that this award has been won by a driver in their first race round. 

First-time Radical racers, George Pethard, George Davis and Sue Hughes performed admirably in the wet and trying conditions.

Race 1
1st: Richard Bloomfield
2nd: Michael Shaw
3rd: Peter Opie

Race 2
1st: Peter Opie
2nd: Michael Shaw
3rd: Neale Muston

Race 3
1st: Peter Opie
2nd: Neale Muston
3rd: Richard Bloomfield

Overall points table results from Radical Clubman Cup, Round 1:

  • Peter Opie - 44
  • Richard Bloomfield - 42
  • Phil Anseline - 32
  • Michael Shaw - 28
  • George Pethard - 25
  • Neale Muston - 25
  • George Davis - 19
  • Mark Hurcum - 17
  • Steve Shelley - 15
  • Sue Hughes - 15
  • Greg Smith - 14
  • Chris Medland - 10
  • Gordon Mellis - 4

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