Radical Clubman Cup: Round 7 - Eastern Creek
26 September 2011

The one-day race format of iRace and sunny weather attracted 11 Radicals including two V8 version Radicals known as SR8’s, which were guaranteed to spice up the field of 13 cars.   The SR8’s participated as an invitational class but did not qualify for any championship points.

Rod Dale the promoter of the Independent Race Series established a special LeMans Sports category to accommodate a range of brands.  The category also competes with another class, Formula Tasman, which accommodates open wheelers.  Only 2 non-Radicals lined up but certainly it felt like a single make race day.

Unlike the NSW State rounds, iRace permits the monster V8 2.7 litre SR8 to compete in a separate class alongside the 4-cylinder 1500cc SR3 models.  But the twists and turns of Eastern Creek it certainly didn’t allow the SR8’s to totally run away.  Michael Shaw again displayed a polished driving performance.  Although qualifying behind the SR8 piloted by Andrie Tan at 1:29.9, Shaw delivered a P2 with a 1:30.5.  Behind Shaw was the Chiron of Neil Kenny at 1:31.8 but the car failed to return to the track for second qualifier or races.  The Formula Tasman class entry of a Dallara Formula 3 posted 1:34.0.

Race 1 was a ten lap rolling start which suited the powerful SR8 cars of John Corbett who started in P5 and the chequered flag was waved at Andrie Tan with a total race time of 15:22 only 3 seconds in front of Michael Shaw.

The spicing began earnest in Race 2 with a 14-lap event presenting Andrie Tan with his first ever standing grid start.  Not surprisingly the race experienced SR3 drivers all got off the mark a lot quicker than the SR8’s but John Corbett proved to be a handful with lots of dicing throughout the race.  The SR8 models simply blew everyone away down the straight but the SR3 model proved a real contender in most twisty parts of the track.  Shaw came up trumps in outright first place with a race time of 21:57 followed by Andrie Tan at 22:12 and John Corbett a well-deserved third place with a race time 5-seconds behind Tan with a 22:17.

This was the first time the SR8 and SR3 models have raced on equal terms in the dry on Australian soil and it certainly proved they are more compatible than originally presumed.  In Race 2 the fastest lap was Tan’s SR8 laying down a 1:32.5 but Shaw in his 4 cylinder SR3 was only 4-tenths of a second away at 1:32.9.

First time Radical racer, Phil Holzberger from Queensland quickly adapted to his new car and a new track pumping out 1:35 laps.  The G-forces and heat caught him by surprise but the experienced Porsche Cup racer adapted and had a big smile on his dial all day.

Driving Standards Observer, Barton Mawer did a sterling job.  All cars came home unscathed, only casualty of the day was Phil Anseline who got hit by the Shire flu which felled Steve Shelley earlier in the week.  Phil wisely withdrew and given the very hot conditions and long racers over one-day, it was a prudent move.  And the even more prudent Steve Shelley made a comeback after his flu and absence due to overseas travel with a really solid day of consistent driving.

George Davis circulated all day enjoying the seat time without incident.  George was a very close second for the Driver’s Excellence Award.

Peter White continues to produce solid and very fast race times despite his limited seat time and number of races.

We all missed the engineering skills of Louis and his data but learnt to fend for ourselves.  A clash with other race meetings depleted our normal pool of support resources.

As usual the track support crew were first class and it was good to see Garth Walden on the tools.

Maeve Ryan continued her behind the scenes organisation, which made everything from form signing; race registration and all the little things go smooth as clockwork.

Byron Smith presented the trophies as his last formal duty before heading off to London where he offers to remain available for all things Radical.  No doubt you will be seeing Byron back periodically but possibly in a race suit.

Two more rounds to go and Shaw looks like he is untouchable for the Radical Clubman Cup title but there are some double point races and a catch up round from earlier in the year.

Be sure to watch out for coverage of this round on television – details to be provided shortly.

Main photograph taken by John Morris

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