Round 4 of the Radical Clubman Cup took place on Sunday 15th
May at Eastern Creek Raceway.
Sixteen Radicals lined up for the one-day event under crystal clear
skies. The qualifying session
commenced in challenging conditions with a non-Radical competitor evacuating
its sump on lap 2 causing a red flag.
Once the track was reopened it was Michael Shaw who grabbed fastest lap
with a 1:31.38 followed by Peter Opie and Richard Bloomfield. Lap times were generally slower thanks
to residual oil at turns 9 through to 12 but all Radicals completed the session
in one piece.
The format for the day included an innovation of a single sprint race
and a 35-minute Enduro.
In Race 1 Muston, Shaw and Opie were first around turn 2 followed by Bloomfield
and Greg Smith. Tony Palmer headed
first race newcomer Shane Otten in 6th and 7th while Tony
Haggarty, Simon Haggarty, Peter Johnston and Sue Hughes followed closely. With the race distance shortened to
just 5 laps through delays in other categories drivers had to get on the pace
quickly. The front-runners did
exactly that, including Shaw who set the fastest race lap of 1:30.64 in just
his second circuit. Steve Shelley
was flying after his thirteenth place start to come home 8th
outright and get race 1 hard charger honours. The comfortable winner Neale Muston followed closely by Michael Shaw who was 2.6 seconds quicker over
Opie in third with Bloomfield just pipping Smith and Palmer to grab fourth. Importantly, all cars came home in one
piece in preparation for the 35-minute race.
The feature race saw some fantastic dueling and racecraft from all
drivers. Off the start it was Shaw
again with Muston, Opie and Smith in close proximity for the first few laps battles
were tight throughout the field.
Shaw began to draw away from the pack and posted the fastest lap of the
race on lap 10 of 22 with a 1:30.20, which turned out to be the fastest lap of
the day (including Qualifying).
Whilst Shaw, Muston and Opie drove a solitary race, the battle for the minor
places was inspiring. Smith and
Bloomfield jousted wheel-to-wheel with Palmer never far away. Steve Shelley, after starting in tenth,
worked his way into a great dice with Palmer, before having a mechanical issue,
which forced him to pit leaving Palmer to finish in 5th place.
Simon Haggarty and newbie Peter Johnston came in 6th and 7th place, while Rowan Ross snared a consistent 8th. Otten was unfortunate to stall off the grid and was unable to re-start for nearly 10 seconds. However, once he got going he stormed through the field to ultimately finish in 9th
spot – a sensational result considering he had never driven a Radical before
Singapore visitor, Lim Keong Liam in
his leased Radical Events 1340cc car was consistent and got 10th
place in Race 2 ahead of Tony Haggarty in 11th, with Steve Shelley, George Davis
and Gordon Mellis taking out 12th, 13th and 14th spot
Richard Bloomfield was unfortunate to suffer a mechanical failure
whilst dicing for third place, which left him a non-finisher, along with Sue
The MoComm Radical Australia Driver Excellence Award went to Greg Smith
who never put a foot wrong and posted his fastest ever times.
1st: Neale Muston
2nd: Michael Shaw
3rd: Peter Opie
1st: Michael Shaw
2nd: Peter Opie
3rd: Greg Smith
Overall points table results from Radical Clubman Cup, Round 4:
Michael Shaw - 48
Neale Muston - 39
Peter Opie - 38
Greg Smith - 32
Tony Palmer - 29
Simon Haggarty - 22
Peter Johnston - 22
Shane Otten - 20
Rowan Ross - 16
Steve Shelley - 13
Tony Haggarty - 11
Richard Bloomfield - 11
Sue Hughes - 7
George Davis - 5
Gordon Mellis - 3