Reigning Radical Challenge Champion Matt Bell made his Praga Cup debut at Snetterton, sharing with Rob Wheldon in the RAW Motorsports car.
The weekend started well with pole position for the opening race and only 0.277 secs between their individual times.
“It was short notice again and I managed to test the car for the first time on Friday. At first I felt a bit claustrophobic, but with lots of boost it’s very different to a Radical ” I had a spin too at Nelson, when I was disturbed by a call on the radio,”said Bell.
“We had a brake issue though and couldn’t string laps together,” Wheldon added.
Team mate Rod Goodman was sixth quickest, “I was happy with my time and the set up,” he said. Wheldon led from the start of race one, but was soon struggling to keep his rivals at bay. “We still had the brake issue and it took a few laps to get my head around it, but I had already lost places,” he said after dropping to fifth by the end of lap seven.
He fought his way back to fourth and was one of the last to make his stop. Coming in from third, Bell was able to rejoin with his place intact. He caught and passed Jay Morton for second, but had to keep a look out behind too for Charles Hall who had followed him through a lap later. “I got second at Oggies and was catching Broadbent in the lead car at the end but ran out time,” said Bell after taking the flag in second. Goodman finished seventh, “I had a good start but after my stop the engine got hot and just didn’t pick up,” he explained.
All the results became irrelevant as both RAW cars were excluded and the winner too, while four of the six remaining finishers were given pitlane speeding penalties. “Our floor had broken so it failed the ride height,” Wheldon confirmed.
For Sunday’s race Bell/Wheldon were second quickest with Goodman sixth again. Bell made a flying start and had almost three seconds lead by the end of the opening lap. His lead had grown until Hall had taken second and began to eat into the lead as rain began to fall. “It was a good start but it got very skittish in the damp and I didn’t want to put it off with such a big lead,” said Bell, after a sideways moment into Brundle.
With Hall pitting first, Bell came in a lap later with a 23.7 secs lead, enabling Wheldon to rejoin with the lead intact. However the stop had been deemed too short and he was given a one second stop go penalty, which left them to take second again.
Goodman had started well once again and was fifth on the opening lap. “I went too conservative in the wet and my head dropped, I just didn’t have the pace,” he said after finishing eighth.