Phillip Island’s typically variable weather conditions await GWR’s five-car squad this weekend, with rain expected to affect races in Round 4 of the Radical Australia Cup and Round 2 of the Australian Prototype Series.
The Radical Cup title contest tightened up significantly in the previous round at Sydney Motorsport Park, with Chris Perini scoring his first round win in the category and closing to within five points of the series lead.
Once again, Perini (along with Peter Paddon and Paul Braico) will contest both the Radical Cup and Prototype races.
“At SMP, we did exactly what we needed to do, and it’s neck-and-neck in terms of the championship contest now,” Perini said.
“I always enjoy racing at Phillip Island – I did a lot of races there on the motorbike, and it’s a fast, flowing track. The weather tends to be a factor as well, and it looks like there might be a bit of rain this weekend!
“In the past, the races at the Island have had a mixture of wet and dry conditions, and we’ve managed to be on the right tyre at the right time, so hopefully we can nail the strategy once again.”
Paddon endured a difficult weekend at SMP, some unfortunate mechanical problems costing him valuable points, but he remained well in title contention, just a single point behind Perini. Paddon returns to his regular Radical SR3 after borrowing Kim Burke’s car at the SMP round.
“We’ve installed a new engine since the last round at SMP, so hopefully we don’t have any more problems,” Paddon said.
“The last round really closed up the series points, so it adds a bit of pressure, but it’s also good for the championship having a few different drivers in contention.
“I’m hoping Chris and (points leader) Mitch (Neilson) keep going well – if I’m going to win the title, I want to beat them fair and square on the track, not because they have problems.”
Paddon said the high-downforce configuration of the Radicals allows them to conquer Phillip Island’s flowing corners with ease.
“In another car like a Radical SR8, Phillip Island would be much more of a challenge but the SR3s can take a lot of the corners flat out,” he said.
In his national Radical Cup debut at SMP, Braico showed promising speed, qualifying inside the top five, but will be hoping for a change of luck at Phillip Island after he was caught up as the innocent victim in a couple of incidents during the SMP races.
Kosta Pohorukov had his best result of the RAC season at SMP, finishing second in the weekend’s opening race – Pohorukov will focus on the RAC races this weekend.
Sue Hughes made her return to motorsport in the SuperSports state round last weekend, and will contest this weekend’s Australian Prototype Series races.
“I can’t wait for Phillip Island, it will be my first national event since my accident last September,” Hughes said.
“I’m slowly building up my race fitness again, and the APS races will be interesting with 19 cars on the grid. If there’s wet weather, those of us in Radicals will be in our element!”
The Australian Prototype Series round will consist of three sprint races, while the usual format of two 50-minute races will apply for the Radical Cup round.
Phillip Island Event Schedule
Saturday, 28 June
9:45am – Radical Australia Cup practice (30 min)
10:45am – Australian Prototype Series qualifying (20 min)
11:10am – Radical Australia Cup qualifying (30 min)
12:30pm – Australian Prototype Series race 1 (13 laps)
1:25pm – Radical Australia Cup race 1 (50 min)
Sunday, 29 June
9:40am – Australian Prototype Series Race 2 (13 laps)
10:30am – Radical Australia Cup warm-up (10 min)
11:45am – Australian Prototype Series race 2 (16 laps)
12:20pm – Radical Australia Cup Race 2 (50 min)