Radical Cup hits Sydney for round two of 13th season

Radical Cup hits Sydney for round two of 13th season

29.04.2021: Rnd#2 - 2021 RA Cup Australia Sydney Motorsport Park, NSW 30 April - 02 May, 2021 The 13th season of the popular one-make RA CUP Australia will return this weekend to itís emotional home - Sydney Motorsport Park - where a competitive field of


Rnd#2 - 2021 RA Cup Australia
Sydney Motorsport Park, NSW
30 April - 02 May, 2021




The 13th season of the popular one-make RA CUP Australia will return this weekend to it’s emotional home - Sydney Motorsport Park - where a competitive field of SR3s will do battle for more valuable championship points after an entertaining season-opener at Mount Panorama just four weeks ago, a round where three-time champion Peter Paddon claimed his ninth Bathurst win.




A lot can happen in four weeks, and that may well have an impact on the 2021 championship with a couple of notable changes..



Sadly Brad Shiels will sit this round out with his TCR commitments across the weekend, keeping him from adding to his handy points advantage, whilst for the man with whom he shares the points lead - former champion Peter Paddon - his title aspirations are buoyed by the arrival of an all-new Radical SR3XX, the latest offering from the British manufacturer, Paddon hoping it will provide the tonic to go after his fourth RA CUP title.



For the GWR Australia team, they will have two of the new SR3s running this weekend, with two-time NSW SuperSports champion Stephen Champion also upgrading his existing machine in an effort to close the gap to the leaders, team-boss Garth Walden keen to spend some more time with the cars in an effort to get his drivers up to speed as quickly as possible.



“The Radical formula is a great platform, because it essentially hasn’t changed in 15 years,” he explained. “The new XX is just an upgrade on the RSX which is now a couple of years old, with some electronic and ergonomic updates, but it’s effectively the same car, just new.”



A student of the sport with a great passion for data, Paddon admitted that one of the great attractions of the new model was the increased data capabilities of the car, which includes inbuilt tyre pressure and tyre temperature sensors..



“There’s live readings on the dash that give you the information as you’re circulating which is really cool, so whilst I enjoyed the feeling of the new car from behind the wheel - which in itself has a different feel because that too has been upgraded - I got a huge kick out of going through the increased load of data available from each run, something which for me at least, was the big attraction with the upgrade.”



For Paddon the new XX will be his second ‘new’ car in three years having taken delivery of an RSX to start the 2019 season, although like Champion, it will be the first time he’s taken delivery of a brand new car direct from the factory. Both however will arrive at the circuit having conducted just a single test day in the car, so they will have to dial themselves in as quickly as possible to avoid reigning champion Chris Perini from extending his winning streak in Sydney.



That winning streak extends to three outright wins from the last four races at Sydney Motorsport Park, a run that extends back to the third round of 2019, however if you go back another 12 months, Perini’s record at the venue includes four wins from nine starts, so you could argue that he starts favourite this weekend, especially off back-to-back wins at the circuit during the only event held in 2020.



Perini comes into the round third in points having played second fiddle to the Paddon/Shiels show at Bathurst, but whilst frustrated by his rival’s pace on the mountain, he knows that the championship requires focus on the long game, however with just five rounds tabled for this year, he needs to make this weekend count.



Behind the GWR trio Kosta Pohurokov will serve as the Tilton Racing team’s sole representative, but as an experienced hand around the Sydney circuit, he too will be in contention for a podium, although with the recent pace of Volante Rosso pairing Peter Clare and Greg Kenny, the battle for the final step of the podium is destined to provide its own entertainment.



Typical of the RA CUP competition though, the battles continue all the way down the field with a strong midfield competition expected this weekend, with drivers like Zig Fuhrmeister, Max Medland, Bill Medland, Susie Esselmont and CUP rookie Craig McLatchey looking to make an impression across the weekend, Bill Medland campaigning the 2020 RA Motorsport RSX for the first time, handing nephew Max Medland his incumbent ride for the event.



Action starts on Friday with two 30-minute practice sessions ahead of the first CUP session under lights at SMP, with qualifying set for 6:20pm. Saturday’s race will be held in the twilight from 4:55pm, with Sunday’s second race scheduled for 3:10pm.




Sean Henshelwood - photo Radical Cup

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29.04.2021 / MaP

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