Gavin McAlpine was busy at Snetterton last Saturday as the Radical SR1 Cup got underway.
McAlpine now in his third season with the RAW Motorsports car, qualified 10th for the opening race in cloudy but dry conditions. His quickest qualifying lap came on his ninth out of 13 completed.
On the opening lap of race one he fought his way ahead of Ian Ellis and immediately began to consolidate his hold on ninth place, before beginning to make inroads on Simon Bailey for eighth too.
Gradually the gap continued to fall and Bailey became his next victim on lap five. Despite the onset of drizzle he soon started to get Mark Williams in his sights too.” The drizzle had become more noticeable but we were Ok,” he said.
They continued to shadow each other until Williams spun at the Wilson Hairpin, “I had to spin avoid him then did a lap and spun again on my own at Brundle. Too heavy breaking in the wet, but it cost me two places,” he admitted.
His recovery was from ninth place initially, but he was unable to stop Ellis from repassing and David Tagg following a lap later. Despite having dropped to 11th overall and fifth in class, he had still secured the fastest race lap in his class.
The conditions had continued to be showery and changeable as the grid formed up for the second race, again starting from 10th on the grid. “It was supposed to be dry, so we all went out on slicks in the wet,” he said.
Having held station in worsening conditions, the safety car was deployed on lap four, before the race went live again two laps later.
With James Pinkerton losing out from the green flag, McAlpine was up to seventh but running solo until both Pinkerton and Fraser McFadden began to close in again.
Both got by on lap eight, but most of the drivers were looking just to see the chequered flag. But Ellis managed to close in too and took ninth on lap nine.
McAlpine was left to retain 10th place to the finish. “We all just wanted to see the finish, but it became a real anti-climax,” he concluded.