VICTORY TOLL FOR COMEBACK BELL
He had not been in a car for over six years, he hadn’t even renewed his licence, but former Radical Challenge vice champion Matt Bell, was back. Pole position, a race win and two second places completed his remarkable weekend.
With six RAW Motorsports cars on the grid in the Radical Challenge, it was a tough day for the pit crew.
Bell started from pole in the first of the two Sprint races and was comfortably holding off Jerome De Sadeleer for the lead when it was red flagged.
It was an equally good restart for the returning Bell, and while De Sadeleer was delayed by Michael Clark’s RX Spyder, Bell was able to ease clear and seal a four second victory.
“I hadn’t sat in the car until Friday, had re-sat my ARDS test, but had to try not to exert myself too much. But the car was great,” he said.
John Macleod managed to consolidate sixth over team mate Chris Short too, while Elliot Goodman came home eighth and Peter Brookes 10th .
“I had one trip on the grass when De Sadeleer passed me, but I tried to stay out of trouble, said Macleod.
Bourne had initially qualified well, but was held up at the restart, finally finishing 12th .
Bell got another good start in race two, but lost out to De Sadeleer into the Wilson Hairpin on the opening lap.
They stayed fairly close for a while, before De Sadeleer pulled clear, but Bell retained a solid second place. “I’ve never felt so tired in my life,” Bell added.
Macleod and Short had a terrific duel for fourth, before Macleod eased himself clear. “I had a decent start and the car went well, then I managed to get clear near the end,” said Macleod.
Bourne was closing on Short too at the flag, “I had a rubbish start, but then made places and continued closing,” he said after finishing sixth.
Goodman was ninth but Brookes retired after nine laps.
Both Bell and De Sadeleer became stuck behind Clark at the start of the final race, the 45 minute Enduro.
They were all over the leader into the corners, only for him to drive away on the straights. Bell got through at Murrays on lap four, with De Sadeleer following, before Clark drove passed them both on the exit.
Two laps later Bell tried again, but there was contact and Bell was on the grass and down to third. He fought back strongly, and with Clark retiring, he continued to chase De Sadeleer for the rest of the race, securing a solid second.
Short had been clear in third until the pit stop window, but lost out to Macleod and Chris Preen in the second half. “I didn’t push hard enough to get away, so handed the place over,” said Short.
Macleod got way in the closing laps to secure third from Short, while Bourne and Goodman were classified fifth and sixth, with Brookes 11th .
Next round of the Championship is at Brands Hatch on May 8th /9th.