Radical Sportscars has started its 2020 race season of single-marque sports prototypes championships by creating a virtual global Radical Cup series on the iRacing platform. Radical’s first foray into the world of eSports competition kicked off in style this weekend with the inaugural Radical Cup iRacing Invitational round broadcast live around the world, the first of a six-round championship based around North American and European circuits. A bumper grid of 50 SR8s formed up at a virtual Road Atlanta, with a truly international entry represented by drivers from North America, Europe, Asia and Oceania.
The series is targeted at the dozens of Radical owner-racers around the world that compete in Radical Cup and Challenges series in Europe, North America, Asia, and Australia. While not a substitute for the exciting wheel-to-wheel racing of the “real world” Radical racing championships, the Radical Cup iRacing Invitational series gives Radical owners, racers, and others a chance to practice their skills and engage in friendly motorsports competitions during this Covid-extended off-season.
Coordinated in less than a week, Radical enjoyed unprecedented interest in its virtual racing league, with just shy of 100 registered competitors joining last week. Indeed, such was the demand for spots on the 50-car grid that series admin Tom Drewer – also Championship Coordinator for the real-world Blue Marble Cocktails Radical Cup North America – ran a pre-qualifying session for any drivers missing out on the initial grid release offered exclusively to Radical’s current racers. As such, it was a mix of existing Radical competitors, team and supporting crew in the field, complimented by a handful of experienced iRacers for good measure.
The field was also blessed with several luminaries from the world of international sportscar and single-seater racing, including ELMS LMP2/3 racer John Falb, Indy 500 racer Arie Luyendyk Jr and Indy Lights winner Peter Dempsey.
IndyCar engineer and iRacer Zachary Woolen topped the qualifying times with fellow iRacer Colin Bayes, multiple Radical champ Bradley Smith, Scandinavian Cup ace Teodor Olsen and Dempsey also featuring in the top five grid spots. Smith got the jump on the start to lead the opening laps but later span out, with Dempsey also briefly holding the lead before Woolen, retaking the top spot, held all the way to the flag. Dempsey held on to second ahead of Radical UK’s Nathan Jones in third. Drivers in top 10 include Spring Mountain Motorsport Ranch’s Christopher Regan, 2019 SR1 Cup Rookie champion Mark Tranter, US F4 racer Jonathan Scarallo and Radical Australia’s Matt Anderson.
Thirteen different nationalities were represented during this first event, broadcast here on https://www.radicalsportscars.com/ and on Radical TV, Radical’s YouTube channel. All eyes are now on the second round, held this coming Saturday. The Radical iRacing Cup Invitational is a Transatlantic affair with Saturday’s race at Silverstone, home of the British Grand Prix. Pre-qualifying for the ‘all-comers’ element of the grid commences on Friday. For more information on how to get involved – and if you missed it, to watch the coverage again in our series archive - simply click the links below.iRACING RESOURCES