22 May 2013

JAMES WINSLOW is predicting stunning lap times when he makes his V8-powered Radical Australia Cup debut at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit this weekend. The reigning Australian Formula 3 Champion will team with RAC regular Chris Medland in the Radical Works Team SR8 RX this weekend, adding serious firepower to an already competitive title battle entering its third round of the year. Round three of the Radical Australia Cup will be held in conjunction with the third round of the Shannons Nationals at the Victorian circuit this weekend.

Winslow says the new car’s debut at Phillip Island, coupled with the newly resurfaced 4.46km circuit, has the potential to fly on the already high-speed layout.

“I had a few laps in the car during testing last week and it was seriously impressive,” Winslow said.  “Within five laps and on old tyres and a pretty slippery, greasy track, I was into the 1m28s pretty easily. I think we’ll be two seconds faster than that, if not more, so it’s going to be very spectacular.”

The current Radical Australia Cup lap record at Phillip Island stands at a 1m33.59s lap, set in 2012 by Ben Porter. Winslow says – as expected – the V8 powered SR8s will drop that mark significantly.

“At Phillip Island you are flat out for a lot of the lap, and horsepower counts. The extra grunt from the V8 makes a massive difference around there – the cars get out of the corners much quicker and are faster in a straight line.

“I’m predicting we will be in the 1m26s.. if the weather is good!” 

The British drivers lengthy CV stretches almost all disciplines of racing, and includes five major championships to his credit – including two Aussie F3 titles.

He joins a lengthy list of ‘pro’ drivers working with existing RAC competitors this season, though will be the only one actually competing on-track at Phillip Island. Other names including George Miedecke, Paul Stokell, Josh Hunt, Ben Porter and Michael Navybox, amongst others, will be present in their respective driver coaching roles.

Winslow says the combination of a Radical SR8 RX and a track he acknowledges as one of his absolute favourites promises an exciting weekend ahead.

“The cars were already awesome to drive and the V8 takes them to another level, it’s an ideal match for Phillip Island. It’s such a good track and it requires commitment to get the best times out of it.

“The competition is strong this year and I’m looking forward to getting out there with Chris to give the guys at the front of the field a shake.”

The Medland / Winslow #9 Radical Australia SR8 is amongst a group of eight of the latest-generation models entered amongst a strong 21-car field.

Defending champion Neale Muston again leads the standings but this year has faced a stern challenge from new rival, ex GT-racer Ash Samadi.

The pair battled it out at both of the opening rounds – held on two different layouts at Sydney Motorsport Park – and have showcased the impressive speed of the SR8s at the pointy end.

Series newcomer Ross Lilley – an experienced Porsche and GT racer in his own right – will join the Radical Australia Cup for the first time in his recently purchased Koala Furniture sponsored SR8.

Meanwhile, Liam Talbot is the form driver in the SR3 Cup Class – the ‘race within a race’ for the existing four-cylinder powered Radicals that have been the mainstay of the RAC for years.

Talbot was a strong SR3 winner at Sydney Motorsport Park and also sits in third place in the outright series standings, behind Muston and Samadi. Meanwhile, the father and son duo of Oliver and Greg Smith locked out second and third on the podium at Round two however will switch from being rivals to teammates this weekend.

The Smith family will share the #16 Radical Australia entered SR3, one of four teams electing to utilise two drivers.

As well as Chris Medland and James Winslow, the #89 Sales Group Net entry of Dane Stokes and Simon Baxter and the local Radical Team Melbourne outfit of Gary Walker and Robert Baird will also join forces for the endurance race on Sunday.

Long-time competitor and Radical owner Rowan Ross will make the debut of his brand-new SR3 RS this weekend – the long-time Radical racer now on his third chassis having supported the class since its inception.

Two sprint races are scheduled for Saturday before the field tackles the 50-minute race on Sunday morning.

The Sunday race will be broadcast live on the internet via the Shannons Nationals ‘Nationals TV’ live streaming service, available via   
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