Radical Challenge Championship
It was two wins out of three at Snetterton for 360 Racing’s Jerome de Sadeleer, as the Radical Challenge made its season debut in glorious Norfolk spring sunshine.
Former championship runner-up Matt Bell was the star of the first sprint race, back in a RAW Motorsports Radical SR3 RSX after a six-year absence.
Bell had led from pole, pursued by de Sadeleer, until the race was red flagged after six laps.
From the restart Bell took charge again, but de Sadeleer found his path blocked by the RXC Spyder of Michael Clark, and recovered well down the order after a grassy moment.
Bell took the win by over four seconds from Masters class winner Clark, with debutant Anthony Ayres’ Radical SR3 in third, the Club Sprint class winner. “I was trying so hard not to exert myself, but the car was really good though,” said Bell.
De Sadeleer managed to recover to recover to fourth, after demoting Chris Preen on the last lap and Jason Rishover fought his way into fifth, as John MacLeod completed the top six.
In the second of the Club Sprint races the top three got a break on the opening lap, with de Sadeleer ahead into the Wilson Hairpin, from Bell and Clark.
It was a dominant win for the 2019 runner-up de Sadeleer, having increased his winning margin to over 13 seconds in the final laps of the race, with Bell comfortably retaining second.
“It was a good clean start, and once I had the lead, I just managed the gap and pushed hard when I needed to,” de Sadeleer explained.
Clark had a fairly solitary race in third, winning the Masters class, but had the duelling MacLeod and Chris Short closing in on him at the end.
Spencer Bourne rounded off the top six, while in seventh Ayres won the Club Sprint class again.
It was a mixture of Radical’s SR1, SR3 and RXC Spyder models in the 45-minute Club Enduro, with driver changes and pitstops coming into play.
The top three once again made an early break, but it was Clark ahead this time, from Bell and de Sadeleer, with Short running solo back in fourth.
Clark’s Radical RXC Spyder was especially strong down the straights, with the nimbleness of the smaller SR3s coming to the fore through the corners.
After a number of half attempts, on the sixth lap Bell tried a move into Murrays and was left out on the grass, after contact with Clark, while de Sadeleer then snatched second.
“I had to hit the brakes hard to avoid Matt, but I was being patient and knew what he was trying to do,” de Sadeleer explained.
Clark’s car suffered damage, and was forced to pull off and retire two laps later.
De Sadeleer was in charge for the rest of the race, and following the stops, went on to take his second win of the day by just over 13 seconds from Bell.
Short had moved up to third after Clark’s demise, but admitted he should have pushed harder. “I had the place but just didn’t pull away enough.”
After the stops, Short lost out to the duelling Macleod and Preen, who shared a number of exchanges before Macleod got clear and Preen was given a drive through penalty.
Short therefore came back to take fourth, with Preen fifth on track, before a track limits penalty dropped him to 10th, leaving Spencer Bourne and Elliot Goodman to complete the top six.
In the Enduro class for the Radical SR1, it was a win for Ben Stone/Ryan Harper-Ellam, by 3.6 seconds over Frazer McFadden, with Dean Warriner/Marcus Clutton finishing third.
Radical SR1 Cup
Snetterton also featured the opening rounds of the Radical SR1 Cup.
Qualifying had been remarkably close, with Will Hunt and James Lay leading the way, each taking turns at a pole position start.
It was Hunt starting from pole in race one, and he showed a clean pair of heels into Riches from the start, with Lay, McFadden and Warriner heading the chase.
Mackenzie Walker’s hopes were dashed when he was tipped into a spin at Palmer.
Brian Caudwell was in fifth, just about holding on to the lead quartet, but in sixth Nick Zapolski started to lose ground.
Lay managed to hold a steady gap to Hunt’s lead, but in the closing laps it gradually increased to 4.3 seconds at the flag.
“I had a good start but there was no real chance of me catching Will, or being caught myself,” Lay explained after taking second place on his car racing debut.
Warriner’s hold on third had briefly been threatened by McFadden, although six seconds down on the lead duo’s pace, he was able to consolidate his podium place.
Caudwell and Zapolski retained their racelong positions to complete the top six, both well down on McFadden. Stone was the first rookie home in seventh place.
Lay was on pole for the second race, but he couldn’t hold off Hunt again from the start.
McFadden was into an early third, while behind him Walker had nosed ahead of Warriner around the outside at Riches, before being forced to hand the place back at the Wilson Hairpin.
As in race one, Lay held on to Hunt for a while, but following a brief respite, he closed the gap to a very respectable 1.949 seconds at the finish.
“James kept my mirrors busy in that one, but once my tyres warmed up I was away, just focusing and learning,” said Hunt.
McFadden had another solitary race in third and Walker finally got past Warriner for fourth after five laps.
Caudwell had been closing too until a spin at Oggies lost him two places.
Warriner’s hopes of regaining fourth were dashed with a late spin at Nelson, but he still had enough in hand to retain fifth over the recovering Caudwell.
Both the Radical Challenge and Radical SR1 Cup will be back in action again when they visit the iconic Brands Hatch GP on the weekend of May 9-10th, 2021.
For more information on Radical Sportscars’ 2021 racing calendar and for event and series entries, contact Mark Armstrong, UK-EU Motorsports Manager, on +44 (0)7769 349 698, or email email@example.com
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Race report written by Peter Scherer for Radical Sportscars.
Images by Ollie Read.