An enthralling battle between Peter White (Radical SR8) and Peter Paddon (Radical SR3) in the third and final race was the highlight for GWR Australia’s seven-car attack on Round 2 of the NSW Supersports Championship at Sydney Motorsport Park today.
While Paddon had White’s measure in Races 1 and 2, White responded in Race 3, the two cars swapping positions on no less than seven occasions. White’s superior V8 horsepower finally allowed him to blast past Paddon on the run to the finish line, beating him to second place outright by just 0.1s.
After the captivating duel, neither driver could stop smiling.
“It was a tremendous battle with Pete, it was fantastic to mix it with him,” White said.
“It was a strategic race; he would get me through Turns 4 and 5 because he was far faster there, but the power of my SR8 allowed me to pass him on the main straight.
“It was a terrific weekend – I took two seconds off my practice time in qualifying and to finish off with a race like that was just sensational.
“The crew at GWR had to change a gear for me after Race 2 and as always, they did a great job.”
Paddon, who updated to a Radical SR3 RSX at the start of the season, said it was a productive weekend for car development.
“I came into this weekend with the objective of sorting the car out and we certainly achieved that; in qualifying, I did a 1:28 lap time which was excellent,” Paddon said.
“There’s still a little bit of development to do but we’ve reached the stage where we’re chasing small tweaks rather than big adjustments.
“The racing was spectacular, especially in that last race where Pete and I were running side-by-side so many times. We were both racing very hard, but we were courteous and made sure we didn’t swap any paint.”
Steve Champion finished sixth outright in Race 1, before scoring fourth-place finishes (second Radical SR3) in Races 2 and 3. However, he said the highlight of his weekend came in qualifying.
“I did a 1:29.9 in qualifying, which I was stoked with – I had never gone below a 1:30,” Champion said.
“The best thing was that it felt so comfortable – the car was just planted to the road.
“Even in the last race, once the tyres started to go off, it was smooth and even.”
Paul Braico’s weekend did not start on the brightest note, a minor qualifying crash on cold tyres relegating him to a rear-of-grid start. However, he rebounded strongly to finish ninth in Race 1 and sixth in the other two races.
“It was a terrific day – it didn’t start well, but it improved very quickly,” Braico said.
“I was happy with my race pace, it was just a shame I lost some track position due to my mistake in qualifying.
“I didn’t realise how much I had missed being in a race car until I was back on track, it was just outstanding.”
Ryan Godfrey scored a pair of seventh-place finishes before some technical glitches relegated him to ninth in Race 3.
“I had some good battles with Steve in the first two races, but in the third race I got squeezed between a couple of cars and then there were some gearbox issues, which affected my speed for the rest of the race,” Godfrey said.
Engaged in a highly entertaining contest for 10th and 11th were Sue Hughes and Michael Donnellan. Hughes held the ascendancy in the first two races but a satisfied Donnellan turned the tables in the final.
“I finally got past Sue in the last race; it took me two races to get it done but I finally got there!” Donnellan said.
“It was a huge buzz racing with all the GWR guys, everyone is so welcoming towards all the newbies like me. It’s going to take me about a week to wind down I reckon!”
“It’s now standing at me – two, Michael – one!” Hughes added.
“I think we’re both looking forward to resuming the battle in the next meeting.”
The next Supersports round is scheduled for 5 or 6 September at Sydney Motorsport Park.