Radical European Masters: Dijon-Prenois, 01-03 May 2015
05 May 2015

The Radical European Masters returned to Circuit Dijon-Prenois this weekend for the first time since 2009, with two 60-minute races taking place in challenging wet conditions. 360 Racing’s Terrance Woodward and Ross Kaiser scooped victory in Race 1 with Manhal Allos declared Race 2’s winner after a penalty for series newcomer Johan Scheier.
Persistent rain throughout the weekend meant visibility and grip was at a premium for all drivers, including Olympian Sir Chris Hoy making a return to the series in an RXC Spyder. Victor Correa took the advantage in Qualifying 1 to set a pole time for Race 1 of 1m27.408, seven-tenths ahead of Jerez race-winner James Swift and Alex Kapadia, sharing this weekend with Works Team driver Chris Hyman.

The fastest qualifying time would be reserved until Qualifying 2, with Swift initially fastest but then pipped at the end of the session by team-mate Kaiser’s best lap of 1m27.029. Jon Harrison would line up third on the grid alongside Allos for Race 2 at the former French GP venue.

Swift maintained the lead over the opening lap of Race 1 but a sharp shower just before the start made traction extremely tricky, and Correa was able to find a way past the leader on lap 2. The main battle of the race was the three-way fight for Supersport honours between the SR3 RSX racers of Roger Bromiley, Brian Caudwell and Shahin Nouri. A skip across the gravel would see him drop to fourth in class but Bromiley and Caudwell’s continued wheel to wheel, even after the pitstops had shaken the order of the race.

The pit window opened on lap 13 with Woodward pitting first from fourth position. Most of the leading pack elected to stay out late before making their stops – Bromiley the last to pit seconds before the window closed. An issue for Swift saw him drop out of contention so Allos took over second position, but found himself under sustained pressure from Kaiser and Kapadia. Kaiser was able to make the pass on Kapadia on lap 26, and on Allos for second two laps later before taking up the chase to Correa’s co-driver Harrison.

Kaiser’s extensive Radical experience in the conditions showed, and with three laps to the chequered flag he overtook Harrison for the win, crossing the line with a six-second margin. Harrison held on to second, comfortably ahead of Kapadia/Hyman who took third from Allos in the closing stages. Bromiley and Caudwell’s battle raged all the way to the flag, finishing fifth and sixth overall respectively but just 3.5s adrift.

With Swift unable to take his front-row start due to illness, all cars behind the pole-sitter Woodward started one place higher.  Kapadia and Harrison got the leap on Woodward at the start of the race, but with the move later judged to have taken place under waved yellows they would be classified fifth and sixth respectively. A safety car in the early stages of the race kept the field close, before a five-lap dash under racing conditions before the pit window opened. Once again all eyes were on the Supersport Class with Nielsen Racing’s Ricardo Dona hot on the heels of Caudwell and Bromiley. Contact with the pit entry would see Woodward drop out of contention and Caudwell as high as third at the halfway mark.

Radical France’s new SR8 RX racer Johan Scheier timed his pitstops to perfection and took the chequered flag first, but was also penalised post-race for safety car infringements. RAW Motorsport’s Manhal Allos was therefore awarded the win with Scheier classified second, two seconds ahead of Caudwell an impressive third overall and first in the Supersports Class. Bromiley, Hyman/Kapadia and Correa/Harrison would round out the top six.

The third round of the Radical European Masters takes place at Silverstone in one month’s time. The weekend will be a true Radical racing cavalcade with the opening round of the 2015 Radical SR1 Cup, and the Radical Enduro Championship also in action.
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