Radical Sportscars has concluded its 2021 racing season at Portugal’s Circuit do Algarve, Portimāo, with drivers travelling from around the world to contest the inaugural Radical Intercontinental Cup.
Conceived as a season-ending finale for the global Radical community, the Radical Intercontinental Cup is the physical manifestation of Radical’s ‘Race The World’ program, which makes it easy for drivers to experience some of the world’s most iconic race circuits as part of the Radical family. The event saw the Peterborough, UK, manufacturer take exclusive hire of the famous circuit for a full weekend of track day and racing events, with competitors making the most of the famous Portuguese sunshine to enjoy the mild late-autumn conditions.
Track activity began on the Saturday with an open pitlane format track day giving ample time for drivers to acquaint themselves with the undulating circuit, which played host to the 2021 Formula 1 Portuguese Grand Prix in May. Sunday’s schedule began with a 90-minute open practice, ahead of a 25-minute qualifying session and two 45-minute races, with track day slots in between. For those with the requisite stamina, a mammoth 12-hours of track time was available to competitors over the two days.
The 28-strong Radical-only grid included all models from Radical’s current range, including four examples of the Radical SR10 and a Radical RXC in the Masters class, with entries fielded from the UK, USA, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Romania.
The United States was well represented in Masters, with Judd Miller of Esses Racing, Radical’s dealer in Texas, running in an SR10 with Radical Romania for the weekend, as did Doug Ramirez. Jim Booth debuted his newly acquired SR10 – his eleventh Radical – and ran with Valour Racing, with Ron Fletcher entering an SR10 with the Radical Works Team. Dragos Argeseanu ran his SR8 with Radical Romania, and the UK was represented by the Valour Racing RXC of season regular Michael Clark. Calle Bergman fielded another SR10, with Bernd Koolkman in the scintillating SR8.
The Radical Challenge, for the Radical SR3, saw 12 starters set to take the flag. UK season regulars Jason Rishover (Radical Works Team), Andy Lowe, Mark Williams and Chris Preen (Raw Motorsport), and Dean Warriner (Track Focused), continued their season-long battle at Portimāo. Radical Romania fielded SR3s for Philip Andriescu, Leo Borlovan, Mihnea Stefan and Tim Melzer, with Radical Iberia running cars for Victor Neuman and Daniel Robert Fergus.
The Radical SR1 Cup served as a preview of the 2022 season, with newcomer karters Daryl de Leon and Ben Caisley, both with Radical Works Team, setting the pace in qualifying. Track Focused fielded SR1s for Frazer McFadden, Simon Bailey, and Ben Stone, who came fresh from an outstanding debut podium finish in an SR3 in the UK’s final round at Spa Franchorchamps.
It was the RXC of Clark that would set the qualifying pace in Masters, and he controlled the race and converted pole position into victory. Making his first ever outing in the Radical SR10, Ron Fletcher had an impressive race to control the group of identical cars to finish second. Despite logging an impressive 1.42.35 lap in Saturday’s open practice in his SR10, Bergman had a problematic qualifying, and after starting from last place on the grid set the fastest lap of the race on his way to finish an impressive third.
In the Radical Challenge, the pairing of Warriner/Clutton took the race one victory and set the fastest lap, serving as Warriner’s first ever victory in Challenge. Despite starting seventh, Rishover made an outstanding drive to battle through to second place, just holding on across the line. Andriescu took the final race one podium place, working his way through the field from ninth.
McFadden took the win in SR1 Cup after starting from pole, in a tense race that saw him jump from fourth to first just a single second before the finish line. Stepping back to the SR1 Cup and with an ever-improving form was Stone, who finished second, with de Leon claiming third in his first ever overseas car race meeting.
In race two, Michael Clark again controlled the Masters class, driving under immense pressure for most of the race and managing multiple safety car restarts to take his second win of the weekend. Bergman/Oxley again set the fastest lap and pushed Clark hard but couldn’t manage a successful pass, settling for second, with Ron Fletcher again making the podium with an outstanding third place.
Radical Romania capped off a great weekend with Stefan claiming the race two victory in the best possible style, starting from eighth and working his way through the field, setting fastest lap in the process. Warriner/Clutton made it a double podium for the weekend by taking second, with Melzer emerging victorious after a titanic battle with Rishover, the pair split by just 0.03 seconds over the line. Both Preen and Lowe showed incredible promise, with Preen on track for podiums in both races and Lowe showing great speed in qualifying, before mechanical issues unfortunately sidelined their efforts.
McFadden made it a double win in the Radical SR1 Cup, the best possible birthday present a driver could wish for, and with his ever-supportive family there to join in the celebrations. Stone fought hard to finish second, but this time setting the fastest lap of the race in conjunction with his double podium. Caisley again pushed Stone hard for the whole race and claimed third, a great reward for his whole family who offered brilliant trackside support all weekend.
Radical also chose the weekend to launch a raft of updates for its SR3 XX and SR10 models, which includes an upgraded brake package, revised engine mapping, revised steering column position, and for the first time on a Radical model, the fitment of a halo-style safety structure above the passenger cabin. The new updates will be available to order in the first quarter of 2022.
The Radical Intercontinental Cup concludes Radical’s global motorsports seasons, and the drivers now look forward to the 2022 season. Click here for the 2022 Radical Challenge UK calendar.