Four races into this year’s Radical SR1 Cup and Quattro Motorsport’s Shane Stoney has yet to be toppled from the winner’s step. But that’s not to say that this season’s title race is already a foregone conclusion, as the series heads into the third round battles at Brands Hatch this weekend.
With 182bhp, advanced aerodynamics and a sequential gearbox, the generation 2 SR1 has proven a hit with both experienced and novice drivers alike, with grids in the SR1 Cup steadily growing as more and more drivers look to learn the ropes in sportscar racing.
Stoney has so far been the class of the field, following his perfect four-race streak across both the Oulton Park and Cadwell Park rounds. In fact, Stoney has led every racing lap of the season so far and holds a 39-point lead ahead of this weekend. But the signs are there that he’s unlikely to have things all his own way for the rest of the year.
Reigning SR1 Cup champion James Pinkerton pushed Stoney hard at Cadwell and was in contention to halt the championship leader’s run until he suffered a costly retirement in the second outing. Pinkerton has competed in the opening two rounds this year with the Avidity Motorsport team, but has yet to confirm any further participation.
Chris Short (Works) has also enjoyed a strong start to the year, celebrating twin podium finishes at Oulton. He would undoubtedly have been in the mix at Cadwell had it not been for an accident during pre-event testing. Regardless, he bounced back to grab another third place and prove his mettle. Renewed confidence will make him one of the leading candidates to depose Stoney this weekend. Short’s form also means he leads the Fangio Trophy class, for drivers aged 40 and over.
“Cadwell was a difficult weekend because it was the first time I’ve really had an accident, and hitting the wall at 70mph certainly woke me up!” says Short. “The car looked after me brilliantly and my driver coach, Roger Bromiley, got me straight back out there in a spare chassis. It’s tough to get an accident out of your head and get your confidence back, but the fact that I got back on the podium the day after shows the highs and lows of this sport, and I impressed myself!
“I’ve got high expectations for Brands Hatch. I had a Rookie Class win there last season and I have to be aiming for the overall podium this time around, and seeing how high I can get on it. It’ll be tough as Brands is a track many drivers know well and have a lot of confidence at, so it should be a very tight weekend. But it’s been a great start to the season for me, now I just want to build on that.”
Last year’s Rookie Cup champion Will Hunt will be looking to continue his upward trend after scoring his first rostrum finish of 2019 with a fine drive to second during the finale at Cadwell Park. The Scorpio Motorsport man certainly has the potential to be in the mix for race wins. Ex-Fun Cup driver Matt Jones is the only other driver to have stood on the podium this season.
Former BMW racer Ross Elliott (Avidity Motorsport) is improving with every outing, while Lotus convert Dean Warriner (Track Focused) finished second here last season and will be aiming to go one better this weekend. Mark Tranter (Privateer) leads the Rookie Cup, but will face renewed opposition from Simon Bailey (Track Focused) and newcomer Sam Ashworth (360 Racing).
The third round SR1 Cup action at Brands Hatch on Saturday, June 8 starts with qualifying at 9:00 followed by two 20-minute races at 12:05 and 15:40. Follow all the updates via the Radical Sportscars official social media channels and live timing at www.tsl-timing.com.