RAW Motorsport’s Dominik Jackson sealed an historic double hat-trick of victories in a thrilling final round conclusion to the 22nd Radical Spa Festival this morning. The repeat of his outstanding 2018 form at the iconic Spa-Francorchamps circuit sees the reigning Champion return to the UK back at the top of the title table.
Jérôme de Sadeleer had looked set to take a maiden home race win, having past pole-sitter Jackson on the opening lap and taken off at a blistering pace to build up a near-on five second lead. However, a safety car period – caused by Kasper Jensen’s excursion at Campus – which coincided with the pit window opening 20 minutes into the 50-minute endurance race saw Jackson seize the opportunity to dive into the pit lane. Meanwhile, de Sadeleer stayed out until just three minutes of the 10-minute pit stop cycle remained, leaving him to re-join down the field in 13th.
With the shock re-shuffle at the front of the field, Jon MacRae – racing in only his second Radical Challenge event having obtained his racing licence just a few months ago – led into the closing stages after a stellar opening stint which took him up to P3 before the pit stops. But with Jackson and Hart GT’s Jac Constable waiting to pounce, a gripping fight unfolded and the lead changed hands several times, MacRae putting up a stout defence while Jackson struggled for pace on the straights.
But, with 12 minutes remaining, Jackson made the decisive move and continued on a clear run to the flag. Constable, who delivered the stand-out drive of the day from the back of the field, also seized the opportunity to slide through to salvage an otherwise disappointing weekend.
John MacLeod converted fourth on the grid to his second podium of the weekend, helping his position in the title fight before he has to sit out the next round at Oulton Park. Behind him, Elliot Goodman came out on top of the fierce race-long fight for a place in the top six after taking Spencer Bourne on lap three.
That left Bourne to head Rod Goodman, newcomer Jensen, John Caudwell and Jason Rishover in the early stages but, refusing to bow to the pressure, Bourne held on for fifth. Joining the tail-end of that battle was Iceland’s Auõunn Guõmundsson, who steered clear to his first top six result in only his second weekend of Radical competition.
A noteworthy recovery drive from de Sadeeler saw the Swiss-Belgian 360 Racing driver climb up to seventh spot but contact with former leader MacRae at Les Fagnes forced his retirement on the penultimate tour, while MacRae continued to finish 12th.
In the Team category, Chris and Daniel Headlam capped an outstanding debut weekend as a father-son driver pairing with a trio of class victories for Lanan Racing. Likewise, Anton Zakharov (Russia) and Amir Feyzullin (UAE) took a hat-trick of second place finishes.
Dominik Jackson, RAW Motorsports (Winner race three): “I couldn’t believe it really. We were focusing on second place today because of the success penalty. The safety car got in the mix and gave us a massive opportunity. I think there was a lot of luck in that the pit lane opened between Jérôme [de Sadeleer] crossing the line and myself, that was a really good call from the team. When I came back out I had Jon [MacRae] in front of me who was pretty good at defending. It wasn’t easy but I eventually got past and just kept my head down with Jac [Constable] behind me.”
Jac Constable, Hart GT (Runner-up race three): “It’s a great circuit and probably one of my better ones. To put in a stellar drive like that in the last race meant a lot to the team and myself. In qualifying I messed up, which was completely my fault, so to come from last today to P2 is an amazing achievement after yesterday’s trouble in the second race.”
John MacLeod, RAW Motorsports (Third race three): “It’s been another good weekend on the back of the previous round as well so I think that’s four podiums in six races, which will do nicely. It closes the gap up in the points, which is what I wanted. We can absolutely build momentum from here, the car’s great. We’ve not had the easiest of weekends but we’ve recovered from it very well. This has been really good.”
The Radical Challenge field of 2019 now take a four-week break before racing resumes for round four at Oulton Park, Cheshire, on 20 July.