The opening rounds of the Radical Cup UK had gone so well for RAW Motorsports Radical squad, with defending Champion James Lay totally dominant with three wins from three races.
He was on pole position again for the first of last weekends races at Brands Hatch too. “I managed to get a clear lap in the second half and just had to maximise the opportunity,” he said.
Team mate John Macleod was down in 13th, with Gavin McAlpine making his SR3 debut 16th in Class.
As the lights went out Lay held the inside into Paddock, with Daryl De Leon going around the outside to nose ahead. “He just had the pace and it didn’t help that I had two wheels in the gravel. I was impressed with my save though,” said Lay.
With two safety car interventions there was little or no chance for Lay to make his challenge for the lead and came in second, 0.868 secs down.
Macleod was 12th after losing a place to Alex Khateeb in between the safety car periods, and McAlpine was 16th in Class.
There was little to split De Leon and Lay again at the start of race two, but as Lay exited Druids on the opening lap, he was spinning. “I got a nudge and spun and as I came back on I got hit again and put on the grass,” he explained.
After tumbling down the order Lay made a quick stop before storming through the order again. He was 25th overall when there was a midrace safety car, but after taking four places in one lap, he was back into the top 10 by lap 15.
Macleod also made rapid progress after problems had left him dead last on lap one. He was into the top 10 too for the last six laps, finally giving best to Lay for ninth a lap from home.
Lay was back on pole again for the weekends final race and made his advantage stick as the lights went out.
His first attempt to break the tow to De Leon was wiped out by a three-lap safety car break. But on lap eight he was forced to slow, “I had a good start and it felt comfortable, but then going into Paddock the rear floor broke and I had to pit,” he said.
After eventually rejoining four laps down, he still made it home 13th in class. Macleod had been a casualty at the start,” a build of issues,” he reckoned, so McAlpine was the top finisher with 10th in Class.
It was better fortunes for SR1 Cup ace Theo Micouris, adding three more podiums to his tally.
The Hart GT driver spent the whole of the first race chasing Tom Wood, but was declared the winner after Wood received a jump start penalty. “I knew he had the penalty so I just consolidated and didn’t try and mix it too much with the SR3’s,” he said.
He had the edge over Wood for the first four laps in race two, “Then he had a good run through Hawthorn and got me into Westfield, as I think he had less aero ,” Micouris added. It was still a solid second and well clear of any challenge.
It was Micouris to the fore again in the final race, but having taken his stop at the end of the pit window, he emerged in second and was unable to close the gap to Wood again. But it was a third podium and a weekend to celebrate as he retains his Championship lead.
Published by Peter Scherer for RAW Motorsports, May 3rd 2023.