Shane Stoney believes that he’s heading into the second round of the Radical SR1 Cup at Cadwell Park on Saturday, May 18 on the back foot, as his rivals have a key chance to rein in the early championship leader.
Stoney’s season may have gotten off to the perfect start, registering a clean sweep of two wins, two pole positions and two fastest laps across the Easter Bank Holiday weekend at Oulton Park, but he’s likely to face much more of a challenge at the Lincolnshire track due to his lack of experience there.
Having tasted multiple successes in both Mini and Ginetta racing prior to switching to the 182bhp SR1 sports prototypes, Stoney (Quattro Motorsport) joined the series too late for last year’s round at Cadwell. With average lap speeds nudging 90mph, the SR1s are one of the fastest things on four wheels to compete at the venue. Stoney will have to learn quickly to keep his run going.
“I haven’t raced at Cadwell since 2011, and even back then it was in a Citroen Saxo, so the SR1 will be an entirely different experience!” says Stoney. “I feel like I’m going into this weekend a bit behind all the drivers who raced in the SR1 round there last season, but in a way I find that quite an exciting challenge.
“I can honestly say I don’t expect the rest of the year to go the way Oulton Park did. Oulton is my favourite circuit; we do all of our testing there and I love the place, so if I was going to go well anywhere it was going to be there. In contrast, Cadwell is probably my weakest track, so it’s one extreme to the other. I’ve done one track day there recently, but we only got one clear lap, so I have no clue where I’ll fit in time-wise.”
Reigning SR1 Cup champion James Pinkerton (Avidity Motorsport) made a last-minute return to the series for the season-opener at Oulton Park and was runner-up to Stoney twice. He was hopeful of securing a full-time return to the series to defend his title, and if he manages to, he will undoubtedly be ready to take the fight to the points leader.
Chris Short (Works) kick-started his second campaign in the championship with a pair of podiums at Oulton, having really gotten to grips with the technique of hustling the powerful, lightweight SR1 on the limit. He put in an impressive drive at Cadwell last season, celebrating a podium finish, so he’s well versed with the high-speed challenges of the track.
Will Hunt (Scorpio Motorsport) will be another to keep an eye on. Having won the Rookie Cup division and finished third overall in the championship last year, Hunt is keen to make another step up the order. His Oulton Park weekend didn’t quite go to plan, so expect him to come out fighting.
There’s also a host of newcomers keen to make an impression. Former BMW racer Ross Elliott (Avidity Motorsport) is tackling his first full year of sportscar racing and will only get quicker as he continues his acclimatisation from tin-tops to the high-performance Radical. Other fresh faces to the grid this year include Dean Warriner (Track Focused) – who switches from the Lotus Cup – Funcup convert Matt Jones (Privateer) and ex-rally driver Simon Bailey (Track Focused).
The Fangio Trophy is awarded to the fastest drivers aged 40 and over. Short leads the way in that class ahead of Julian Lay, Mark Williams, Jones and the ever-improving Gavin McAlpine. Newcomer Mark Tranter leads the Rookie Cup after the opening two rounds, ahead of Bailey.
The SR1 Cup action at Cadwell Park starts with qualifying at 11:25, followed by two 20-minute races at 15:20 and 17:55. Follow the action via the official Radical Sportscars social media channels and live timing via www.tsl-timing.com.