THREE TIERS OF RADICAL COMPETITION PROMISE STRONG 2017 SEASON
13 January 2017
Radical Australia – 2017Text/Photos: Motorsport Media
Radical Australia have revealed another strong calendar for the popular one-make ‘prototpye’ style open-cockpit sportscar category for 2017, with a variety of races and formats from which drivers can ‘cherry-pick’ to suit their desired level of competition.
Leading the charge once more will be the eighth season of Radical Australia Cup (#RAC), a season that will see five rounds for 2017. Starting for the fourth consecutive year with the opening round on the challenging Mount Panorama circuit as part of the annual Bathurst 12 Hour event, the Series will then feature three races alongside the CAMS Nationals, before concluding once more at the picturesque Highlands Motorsport Park in New Zealand.
Once more dedicated to the mighty 1500cc Hyabusa-powered Radical SR3, the Radical Australia Cup is already showing a strong field of 24 cars entered for the opening round at Bathurst, where the expectation that reigning champion Peter Paddon will be the man to beat.. And for good reason!
The 2015-2016 champion has been unbeaten at the mountain since 2014, winning all four races since, the most recent seeing the popular New South Welshman set a stunning new lap record for Mount Panorama, circulating in race two last year at 2:12.2670, consider Jamie Whincup’s Bathurst 1000 Supercar race record last year was 2:06.4325..!
Whilst comfortable at Mount Panorama, Paddon admits that he will have his work cut out for him in 2017, citing Kim Burke, 2016 runner-up Oliver Smith and Yasser Sahin as those who will do their best to make things difficult for him this year.
Smith is one that Paddon will be keeping a close eye on, the Radical ‘veteran’ having finished third in 2015, then second last year, the numbers suggesting the Sydney-sider will make himself more than present in his #86 Radical Australia SR3RSX a car new for 2017 with improved aero and a new generation long-stroke engine.
For those that are looking for a less intensive programme, the five-round SuperSport Series will again present Radical drivers with some great competition – the popular events allowing drivers valuable miles, some great racing, and in most cases a chance to spend the remainder of their weekends at home with family.
The season will kick off at Goulburn’s Wakefield Park on ‘April Fool’s Day’, followed by three more events at Radical Australia HQ at Sydney Motorsport Park and a much anticipated visit to Victoria’s Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit in August. Radical SR8s and Radical SR3s will compete against a range of other open-cockpit sportscars of similar performance, although on recent record, the Radicals have proven the car to beat, with Chris Sutton and his SR3 winning Class 1 in 2016, followed by Rowan Ross, Oliver Smith, Simon Bathgate and Kim Burke, all in SR3s, whilst two-time Radical Australia Cup champion Neale Muston took out the Class 3 title in his SR8.
And completing the 2017 Radical calendar, is the very category from which many of the Radical Australia Cup entrants first find their feet with the stunning performance of the 260bhp, 685kg SR3s – the Australian Racing Driver’s Club [ARDC] track days at Sydney Motorsport Park, events at which Radical provides their drivers with just about everything they could hope for.
“Radical is a complete package, which is a big part of its success,” Radical Australia’s Greg Smith explained. “It’s a tiered program which caters for both amateurs and experienced competitors alike. The ARDC track days are an ideal, low pressure way for drivers to get miles and experience the whole Radical program. Being based at Sydney Motorsport Park, our team is there to assist in every way, and with our driver lounge, dedicated pits and technical crew on site, drivers have everything they need to compete at their level of comfort.
“For those that are serious, we have driver coaches and engineers available to help them go quicker – something for which the dual seats in the Radical is invaluable – and as they progress, we can assist them to compete in the SuperSport Series and ultimately Radical Australia Cup, and if they so desire, we can also support them to compete overseas, just as each year’s RAC champion does as part of the European Championship.
“It’s a fantastic package that lays the foundations for drivers who may have found motorsport a little later in their careers, or as a stepping stone to compete at a higher level in Sportcars, which we’re proud to have seen a number of our drivers do in recent years, something we expect to see more of in 2017!”
2017 Radical Australia Cup
Rnd#1 – Mount Panorama, Bathurst, NSW (3-4 February, 2017)*
Rnd#2 – Sandown Raceway, Melbourne, Victoria (8-9 April, 2017)**
Rnd#3 – Phillip Island, Victoria (27-28 May, 2017)**
Rnd#4 – Sydney Motorsport Park, NSW (8-9 July, 2017)**
Rnd#5 – Highlands Motorsport Park, NZ (11-12 November, 2017)
* with Bathurst 12-Hour
** with CAMS National Racing Championships
2017 SuperSport Series
Rnd#1 – Wakefield Park, NSW (Saturday, 1 April, 2017)
Rnd#2 – Sydney Motorsport Park, NSW (Saturday, 29 April, 2017)
Rnd#3 – Sydney Motorsport Park, NSW (Saturday, 1 July, 2017)
Rnd#4 – Phillip Island, Victoria (Saturday/Sunday – 19-20 August, 2017)
Rnd#5 – Sydney Motorsport Park, NSW (Saturday, 16 September, 2017)
2017 ARDC Half Day Track Days (Sydney Motorsport Park, NSW)
Event#1 – Tuesday, 24 January, 2017
Event#2 – Wednesday, 22 February, 2017
Event#3 – Tuesday, 21 March, 2017
Event#4 – Tuesday, 18 April, 2017
Event#5 – Tuesday, 23 May, 2017
Event#6 – Tuesday, 27 June, 2017
Event#7 – Tuesday, 18 July, 2017
Event#8 – Thursday, 24 August, 2017
Event#9 – Wednesday, 20 September, 2017
Event#10 – Wednesday, 11 October, 2017
Event#11 – Tuesday, 7 November, 2017
Event#12 – Tuesday, 12 December (Gala Day)