He may be sat comfortably at the top of the championship table, but James Pinkerton knows he has a fight on his hands for this year’s Radical SR1 Cup ahead of the second round of the campaign at Snetterton this weekend.
Pinkerton took victory in both races last time out at Oulton Park in his Generation 1 machine, but did benefit from a small slice of fortune while doing so.
His closest rival on pace from the weekend, Ryan Harper-Ellam, languishes down in sixth in the standings. While a broken drive chain cost him any chance to fight in race one, his recovery drive from a stalled start in race two to pressure Pinkerton to the flag for second more than showcased his pace.
Pinkerton knows that he faces a battle to stave off the SR1 Shootout winner, who is running the newer Generation 2 car.
“It’s clear that Ryan is going to be there all season, and actually I think he’ll be the man to beat,” says Pinkerton. “Sounds funny to say that when I’m leading the championship, but the speed he showed at Oulton means he’s going to be a real threat.”
Harper-Ellam’s first SR1 weekend may not have gone entirely to plan, but he’s still learning the new car after a year out of racing. With more experience of it expect to see him and Pinkerton wheel-to-wheel all year.
The refreshed SR1 Cup boasts a good mix of both experienced and new emerging talents. One of the newcomers looking to get into the mix with the top two is Will Hunt. Two impressive podium places at Oulton showed his potential.
“I’ve not had many laps in the car so it’s really heartening to be as close to the top two first time out as I was,” Hunt says. “I feel confident I can close the gap with more time to get my head around the car.”
Chris Short was a podium finisher at Oulton Park. Having cut his teeth on track days, Short takes the plunge into racing for the first time this year and will develop strongly as the year goes on. Mark Williams and Gavin McAlpine are also well worth a watch.
Kevin Childs and Julian Lay are two new names to the grid. Childs is brand new to racing while Lay brings some experience from endurance racing, having been a class winner in the German VLN category.
Lastly, the Fangio Trophy – for drivers aged 45 and over – features a three-way fight between Paul Clark, David Tagg and Peter Devlin. Clark took a class win at Oulton, but also suffered a retirement, leaving the title chase wide open. Second-year driver Devlin won race two, but Tagg showed some impressive pace by scoring a fastest lap.
The SR1 Cup action begins with qualifying on Saturday 12 May at 09.25 before two 20-minute races in the afternoon. Race one is scheduled for 12.50 with race two at 16.00. Live timing is available at www.tsl-timing.com. Race highlights will also be uploaded to the Radical Sportscars Facebook page, and via the Radical TV YouTube channel.