Phillip Island Wrap: Radical Cup Australia and GT World Challenge Australia Round 1

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Phillip Island Wrap: Radical Cup Australia and GT World Challenge Australia Round 1

Radical Cup Australia

Chris Perini has kick-started his Radical Cup Australia campaign in fine style by winning the round overall with victories in two of the three races.

After fending off his arch-rival Peter Paddon in the opening race, Perini briefly fell to second behind Jordan Oon in the second, 50-minute race but was able to jump ahead of Oon and co-driver Adam Lisle with a well-timed compulsory pit stop and ultimately drove to a commanding victory.

In the third race, Perini fell to third behind Oon and his Western Australian counterpart Elliott Schutte, who had saved their best set of tyres until last, but Perini still collected enough points to win the round overall.

“What a fantastic way to start the year, a massive thanks to GWR for doing a great job with the car and race strategy as always,” Perini said.

“The highlight was our win in the second race where the strategy worked to perfection, but the car was fantastic all weekend.”

Paddon and his co-driver Peter Carr collected enough points to finish equal second for the weekend, while a strong sixth place for Ash Samadi in Race 3 saw him finishing 10th for the weekend, despite a non-finish in the second race.

Sue Hughes thoroughly enjoyed her return to national-level Radical competition, scoring a best result of 10th in race two and 13th overall, but unfortunately Steve Champion endured a difficult weekend with a series of technical problems (including a starter motor failure) consigning him to the sidelines in races two and three.

The next round of the Radical Cup Australia will be held at Western Australia’s Barbagallo circuit, 30 April-1 May.

GT World Challenge Australia

Michael Sheargold and Garth Walden have finished second overall in the GT Am Class with outright top-10 finishes in both races at Phillip Island.

Sheargold started the first one-hour race in the RAM Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3, making up a couple of positions before handing the car over to Walden shortly after a Safety Car period. Despite an off-track excursion at turn one due to losing downforce in the turbulent air of a rival, Walden continued the team’s forward progress and finished eighth.

In the second race, strategies were reversed with Walden taking the start; he ran as high as seventh and was battling with the lead pack before vacating the car for Sheargold, who maintained its top 10 position in the run to the chequered flag.

“Overall, the weekend exceeded our expectations; to finish second in the GT Am class is a great way to start the year,” Sheargold said.

“We’re still chasing a bit of outright speed, but we made some changes to the car that made it more comfortable to drive compared to the 4 Hour at Sydney Motorsport Park. We’re very happy to finish both races in the top 10 against such a high quality field.”

Brett Hobson’s weekend got off to a great start with outright pole position in the first qualifying session, but unfortunately his time at the front of the field was short-lived, with a drive-through penalty for a Safety Car infringement dropping him down the order in race one; nevertheless, he still finished second in the GT Trophy Class.

Hobson’s chances in the second race were also dealt a blow by an off-track excursion, but again he banked solid points with second in the Trophy Class. The next round of GT World Challenge Australia will be held at Mount Panorama, 13-15 May.