Steve Burgess and Ben Dimmack made it a winning start for RAW Motorsports in this year’s Dunlop British Endurance Championship.
Having raced a Ginetta G55 in last year’s championship, the former Radical Sportscar Champions debuted their new Radical RXC Coupe at Croft.
They were third quickest in qualifying, giving them a favourable inside line for the first corner. “It was Ok but there was a bit of a brake bias problem. I was adjusting it the wrong way, as its set opposite to the Radical SR3’s we used to race, so it made the handling difficult too,” Burgess admitted.
“I spun at Hawthorn on my second lap, and was just getting into it when the session was red flagged,” Dimmack added.
It was a dramatic start when the pole position Praga headed for the pitlane, leaving Burgess with a clear run into the first corner at Clervaux.
The second Praga flew into the lead as the lights went out, but it was shortlived as it broke a driveshaft on the second lap and left Burgess with a growing lead. “I did have to give a little smile when it broke, but then just had to focus on pulling a gap,” he said.
The safety car was out after four laps to recover the stranded Praga, but after four laps, the green flag was waved and it was race on again.
“It was a bit frustrating with the safety car, but I was still fighting to overcome a brake problem. It made things very unpredictable and didn’t give me a lot of confidence,” he added.
But the lead was soon fairly dominant again as Burgess pitted on lap 15 to hand over to Dimmack for the final stint.
He rejoined under the safety car but the lead had been retained as the rest of the field made their stops. “With the brakes snatching I felt I was going off at Hawthorn on the first two laps though,” he said.
But the lead was dominant and victory seemed to be edging closer. “I knew I just had to manage it and not throw it away,” he concluded after taking victory by just over 32 seconds.
Dimmack started from pole position in race two and led the opening lap, before Danny Harrison’s Praga shot ahead, soon to be followed by his team mate Jack Fabby.
Dimmack retained a solid third as a three-car battle ensued behind. Handing back to Burgess from lap 15, they settled back in third after the stops had been completed.
“I really enjoyed that, the car was a lot better and my times kept improving. I found it very hard through traffic, but overall I couldn’t ask much more from a weekend,” said Dimmack.
Burgess began to close on the second placed Praga but had the Ferrari 488 Challenge of Ross Wylie closing on him to. The pressure was on and it was three cars nose to tail with a lap to go.
“When I left the pits I could see the Ferrari in my mirror, but after keeping the gap I lost out in traffic. I knew it was the last lap and I was close for second, so decided to have a lunge into Clervaux,” he explained after his race was prematurely ended in the gravel trap.