The second race of the Radical Festival on Sunday morning served up an intense 20-minute thriller with nail-biting battles up and down the field, but it was Dominik Jackson that emerged with his second Radical Challenge win of the weekend at Spa-Francorchamps.
Andrew Ferguson and Jim Booth led the way from the rolling start, but with the SR8s initially slower through the tight turns, the SR3s of Jackson, Steve Burgess, Kristian Jeffrey and Jérôme de Sadeleer jostled for position behind.
By the time the field approached Eau Rouge, Jackson had managed to stave off Burgess’ determined intentions and, although the RAW Motorsports teammates battled at close quarters for the opening tour, Jackson held fast for the Challenge lead and remained un-headed to the flag.
The battle behind him, however, had only just begun, with Burgess forced to switch from attack to defence as Marcello Marateotto, working his way through from ninth on the grid, and de Sadeleer made it a three-way fight for second. Come lap five, just 0.5 seconds separated each SR3 and despite Burgess’ best efforts as he struggled for pace, Marateotto nailed a pass on lap six.
De Sadeleer took a comfortable fourth in class ahead of Radical returnee Jason Rishover and Mark Crader. The six-car scrap for eighth in class saw Brian Caudwell head Elliot Goodman, Mark Hignett, Adrian Watt, John MacLeod and Team class leader John Caudwell.
With the race red flagged with three minutes remaining, due to Spencer Bourne’s spin at Les Fagnes, John Caudwell failed to take a drive through penalty for causing an incident on lap one. Consequently, Peter Tyler took the Team honours.
At the front of the field, retirement from Ferguson in the final stages ensured Booth took his maiden Spa SR8 win.
Challenge driver quotes:
Dominik Jackson (winner race two): “It was very good. The problem was the SR8s at the start. They pull away a little bit but then they bunch up in the braking and that allowed Steve [Burgess] just to come around my outside a little bit. Luckily, I managed to hold him off through Eau Rouge and then just work on getting the times down and pulling away. We do have very good pace.”
Marcello Marateotto (second race two): “I was ninth on the grid and it was a nice group – me, Steve [Burgess], [Jérôme] de Sadeleer and Kristian Jeffrey. We were about the same and Dominik [Jackson] was a bit ahead so we couldn't follow him. It was good racing for P2. I like Spa, it's my second track after Le Mans and Brands Hatch.”
Steve Burgess (third race two): “I had a little bit of contact with Dom [Jackson] at the start but nothing too major. I then tried to follow him for the first couple of laps but I think, for some reason, we were off his pace and so he crept away. Towards the end of the race I unfortunately had Marcello [Marateotto] come by as well so I finished third. I seem to have been off the pace all weekend and I can't quite put my finger on why it is, so it's damage limitation to try and get a few points towards the championship.”
The Radical Festival action continues with the final 40-minute endurance race set to conclude Sunday’s action at Spa, at 16.15 (local time). Follow all the action live on the Radical Sportscars YouTube channel throughout the weekend. For live timing visit www.online.cronococa.com