Elliot Goodman proved to be the star of the non-championship Radical Summer Cup at Oulton Park on Saturday June 12th. The RAW Motorsports driver not only won his class in both races, but was the outright winner in the first race too – his debut victory.
Under bright blue skies and with hot ambient temperatures reinforcing the Summer Cup’s title, Michael Clark’s RXC Spyder comfortably took pole after the morning qualifying session. Goodman joined him on the front row, just 0.110s ahead of team mate Chris Short, with Peter Brookes, Jason Rishover and Chris Preen desperately close too.
“When I came out of Lodge on my quickest lap, I was sure I had pole, as it was the quickest I had ever been around Oulton Park. Then I came into the paddock and found three in my class had all gone quicker too on that last lap,” said Rishover.
In Race One, Goodman made the best of the start and led Short, Rishover and Preen down the Avenue, with Clark just holding off Brookes for fifth. “Chris got about half a car alongside me into OId Hall, and then I just drove away,” said Goodman. “I had a good start and nearly got Elliot, but then he got clear,” Short replied.
As Clark began to settle to his task, his power advantage came into play, and after taking Rishover and Preen, he darted past Short into Knickerbrook for second place.
Clark had soon reeled Goodman in too and blasted into the lead on the straight before going clear. “He just drove by on the pits straight, it was quite unreal,” Goodman added.
But Goodman had built up a massive advantage in second too, as Short, Rishover and Preen all battled for third.
“Jason was closing and then I had a big sideways moment at Shell and he got by,” Short admitted.
Short managed to close on Rishover again, but took Preen with him and as they dueled, Brookes latched on too.
Brookes started to make a challenge on Preen into Island on lap eight, but it was anyone from four as they crested Hilltop.
Unfortunately it got a little too close and into Lodge on lap 13 there was contact and both Short and Preen were out. “I got hit up the back under braking,” said Short.
But there were more dramas as Clark slowed as he past the pits, which let Goodman through to take the lead as the race ended a few minutes early with red flags.
Clark managed to pick up pace again to retain second, with Rishover third and Brookes fourth. “That was probably the most competitive I have ever been, I love this circuit,” said Brookes.
Mike Chen and Matt Jones completed the top six, with Frazer McFadden a dominant SR1 Cup class winner – joining Goodman in chalking up maiden wins.
Brian Caudwell was second in SR1 Cup after he edged out Mark Williams at Knickerbrook on lap four. Williams then spun and eventually came home fifth, with Ben Stone chasing Caudwell all the way to the flag to complete the class podium.
In the second race Clark was dominant from the start and had already pulled out a two second lead by the end of the opening lap.
Behind him it was far from settled, as Goodman and Short ran nose to tail for second, with Brookes gradually losing ground in fourth.
Unlike race one, Goodman was unable to break the tow as his RAW team mate piled the pressure on at every opportunity.
Rishover had hoped to be in the mix too, but after a first corner spin he pitted from ninth after only six laps.
As Clark’s lead continued to grow, there was no indication that second place would be settled before the flag, but from fourth Brookes was heading pitwards after seven laps to retire. “There was a vibration and it was getting worse, so it became undriveable and I had no choice but pit,” he explained.
Short had a couple of attempts to get a nose inside as Goodman turned in at OId Hall, but his defence was holding firm.
Clark eventually took the outright victory spoils by 4.7 seconds and Masters Class win, but the Challenge lead battle went down to the wire. Despite Short’s racelong efforts he couldn’t prise open Goodman’s defence and they took the flag 0.393 secs apart.
“I didn’t really think he was close enough to challenge me, so I didn’t defend too hard. But it was a good close race though,” said Goodman.
“It was frustrating, I had the inside at the first corner but then Elliot had the inside at Cascades. I closed in at the chicanes, but he was quicker elsewhere like Druids. I was trying though,” Short admitted.
Mike Chen moved up to fourth after Brookes’ retirement, with Jones in fifth. But James Sweetnam closed in on Jones and went by after 11 laps, leaving Jones to round off the top six.
McFadden was unbeatable again in the SR1 Cup backing up his earlier performance, with Stone a clear second, after Caudwell and Williams’ second place duel spilled over at Cascades on lap seven, leaving them both spinning.
Gavin McAlpine was briefly third in class, before the recovering Caudwell went by, with Ian Cowley following. “I could see them coming and just wanted to finish, after retiring in the first race,” McAlpine admitted.
Both the Radical Challenge and Radical SR1 Cup will be back in Championship action for their next rounds, as they visit Snetterton again on the weekend of July 3rdand 4th.
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