The Radical Challenge title came that bit closer to RAW Motorsports Matt Bell, after this weekend’s race treble at Donington Park.
After qualifying for the first race Bell found himself sharing the third row with team mate Chris Short. “I think I will have a bit of work to do,” he commented.
From the start of the opening race, Anthony Ayres got a break, with Bell stuck behind the RXC Spyder of Michael Clark initially.
Jason Rishover then started to threaten until Clark increased his lead with the straightline speed advantage, from where Bell consolidated his class lead in third overall.
The top four had got clear but Short led RAW’s John Macleod at the head of another four-car battle. Bell retained his place for the duration, taking his class win by over three seconds. “Once I was clear of Jason it was Ok. I couldn’t have coped with him being that close for the whole race,” Bell explained.
Short managed to keep Macleod at safe distance as they finished third and fourth in class. “I didn’t wake up until three laps in, but couldn’t close the gap,” said Short. “I wasn’t consistent so couldn’t catch Chris either,” added Macleod.
Elliot Goodman was 12th, “No comment he said, after just holding off father Rod by 0.5 secs.
As the grid formed for the second race, Macleod was pushed away unable to start his car.
With the RXC clear from the opening lap, Bell was straight into second, with season long rival Jerome De Sadeleer chasing, before a gap to Rishover and Short in a duel for fourth.
Short was fourth into Melbourne. “I was late on the brakes but stopped OK, then a lap later Jason tried the same move on me and outbraked himself,” said Short.
De Sadeleer had started to close in on Bell, after a brief break. On lap seven they were nose to tail out of Melbourne, for the run into Goddards. “I knew Jerome was coming for me, but maybe I defended too late and turned in early,” Bell explained after losing his place.
De Sadeleer had started to open a slight lap when the safety car came out for three laps.
As the green flag was waved Bell was straight on the attack again, side by side down the Craner Curves with De Sadeleer. “I got a run on him and made sure I covered him, then was ahead into the Old Hairpin,” he explained.
It remained close but it was another win for Bell, while Short had to settle for fourth in class, “Jason got me back dummied me into Redgate,” he said.
Elliot once again topped the Goodman duel in 10th, with father Rod 12th.
The final race was the Enduro with Bell and De Sadeleer nose to tail again for the class lead, after the race was red flagged and restarted.
Clark had taken them both for overall into the Esses, before De Sadeleer went off at Melbourne Hairpin
Bell was in the clear and due to the reduced distance, made his pitstop after three laps.
Short had been in fourth and sharing swaps and changes with Mark Richards. He stayed out until the end of the pitstop window, which gave him the lead for a couple of laps.
As Bell rejoined he soon found himself on the grass avoiding an errant backmarker, taking him until lap six to get back into the top 10.
Short had rejoined third overall and second in class, but had a tremendous duel with Macleod right to the flag, as both held station.
“I started last of the SR3’s and yo yo’d. I had gear change problem, but was trying to catch Chris. We both had lock ups at Goddards, but I just couldn’t get him,” Macleod admitted.
“It had been my first time starting on the front row and I got squeezed at the first corner, so lost places. It was so close with John though, lots of pressure but I just hung on, “Short added.
Elliot Goodman had his best result of the weekend too in seventh, with father Rod ninth.