The Radical SR1 Cup 2018 season gets underway next weekend, as the UK’s fastest and thrilling entry-level series joins the prestigious British GT Championship for the first time at Oulton Park, Cheshire, over the bumper Easter weekend.
Now in its sixth season, 2018 marks a re-birth for the popular domestic single-make series with an expanded six-round, 12 race calendar taking in the UK’s top circuits, revised regulations and a refreshed core model.
The entry point to the Radical range, the SR1 is a high downforce, lightweight, focused prototype sportscar with a 1340cc 4-cylinder RPE-Suzuki powerplant delivering 0-60mph in 3.5 seconds. The resulting downforce and mechanical grip generated by its high performance aerodynamic package equates to impressive GT4-paced lap times.
Standing firm with its proven five-year format of unrivalled track time, expert tuition and dedicated event support, the traditionally novice-only category is now open to all senior MSA licence holders. The revised class structure will see competitors battle for overall race and championship honours, whilst series newcomers will also contest the new Rookie Cup. The Fangio Trophy remains for drivers aged over 45 years.
Add to that a mixed field of first and second generation SR1 machines all supported by a bespoke new tyre package from Global Partner, Hankook, and 2018 promises to deliver even closer racing than ever before.
Radical Motorsport and Engineering Director, Alex Mortimer commented: “What better way to re-launch the SR1 Cup than by stepping up to support the British GT Championship for the first time at Oulton Park? The first rung on the Radical ladder, the series has always offered unrivalled performance, accessibility and affordability. The change in entry criteria, increase in racing rounds and new Global Partners, in Hankook and Motul, has ignited fresh interest. It will be great to see so many new faces alongside our championship regulars and grid sizes are only set to grow.”
A host of new drivers have already taken advantage of the ‘championship in a box’ concept, encompassing car ownership, race licence acquisition and bespoke driver training. No fewer than seven Rookie drivers will line-up on the SR1 Cup grid for the first time at Oulton Park, with all but one racing the Generation 2 SR1 launched last year.
As such, both the battle for the outright championship spoils and the newly introduced Rookie Cup will be fiercely fought affairs. Leading the charge will be 2017 SR1 Cup Shootout winner, Ryan Harper-Ellam. The former multiple Junior TKM race victor and BRSCC Formula Jedi podium finisher is ready to wrestle every inch of opportunity from his fully funded Works Team drive.
The Shootout winner, however, won’t have it all his own way. 2017 Vice Champion James Pinkerton has his eyes set on just one prize this year. His outstanding debut season, producing two pole-to-flag race wins and consistent top five finishes saw Pinkerton take the title fight with eventual champion Jérôme de Sadeleer right to the final round, finishing 71 points adrift.
Will Hunt, who starts his first year racing with Radical off the back of testing British F4 machinery, will be another one to watch. Extremely close racing can also be expected from Paul Clark, Kevin Childs, Gavin McAlpine, Chris Short and Mark Williams, who all make their motor racing debut at the Cheshire track. Championship regulars Peter Devlin and David Tagg complete the first round field, with several championship regulars set to return to the fold for the second round at Snetterton in May.
From the SR1 Cup, drivers can climb the racing ranks with the SR3, the world’s best-selling racecar with over 1,100 in market, right through to European-wide competition with the record-breaking 405bhp SR8 and 3.5ltr 650bhp RXC Spyder.
The Radical racing action at Oulton Park begins at 10.40 on Saturday 31 March, with a 20-minute qualifying session preceding two 20-minute races at 13.25 and 17.30 (all timings remain provisional), with live timing available via www.tsl-timing.com Race highlights will also be uploaded to the Radical Sportscars Facebook page, and via the new and improved Radical TV YouTube channel.