Thirty-five cars are entered for Round 3 of the Blue Marble Radical Cup North America series, which takes place this weekend at Circuit of the Americas, July 16-18. Over 30 cars have taken part in each of the first three rounds of the championship, and the bumper grid is thanks to an influx of Texan talent, an ever-popular PRO 1500 class and a resurgence in both PRO 1340 and Platinum. It will be a hotly contested weekend, and we’re not just talking weather with highs anticipated to reach into the mid 90s (30 Celsius) throughout the weekend. Numerous drivers are capable of winning in each class, as a host of young-guns take on seasoned drivers twice their age including former ALMS champ Jon Field and Sebring winner Chris McMurry.
Radical’s latest weapon, the 380lb-ft, 425bhp turbocharged SR10 is responsible for boosting the Platinum ranks, and series newcomer Todd Solomon, racing for Radical Texas, has added a sixth ‘torque monster’ to the grid, bringing the total number of entries to 10 for COTA. The Austin based Radical dealer has a further four cars entered in the Platinum class, with locals Philip Berber and Willie Putrajaya fielding SR8s, alongside regulars Conrad Park (RXC) and 2019 class champion Judd Miller (SR10).
While Judd Miller may have a home track advantage, reigning PRO 1500 champion Indy Al Miller (Blue Marble / ONE Motorsports), who is no relation, is considered the favorite given he currently leads the Platinum points after taking wins at both Barber and Road America. Another to look out for will be Louis Schriber (Shorewood Development Group Racing), whose qualifying performance and Race 5 win at Road America has put his competitors on notice. Others to watch in Platinum include Scott Wagner, who impressed with a podium at the last event, ex-ALMS champion Jon Field (Scott Wagner Racing), and Jim Booth (McDonald’s / WISKO Racing), who currently lies second in class points.
Radical’s 1500cc Hayabusa powered SR3 is the British marque’s most popular model globally, and the Blue Marble Radical Cup is no different, with 15 cars entered this weekend. At least six drivers are genuine contenders for race wins in this highly competitive class. Young-gun Gustavo Rafols (WISKO Racing) and seasoned racer Gregg Gorski (smokebuddy / ONE Motorsports) are tied in points after the first six races, and amazingly both sit at the top of the table with just a single win to their names.
Three more junior drivers hope to gain ground on the lead pair this weekend. Palmer Miller (Radical Texas / Esses Racing), who has taken two victories this season, needs a consistent weekend, as do fellow race winners Alex Morton (Team Stradale) and Noah Ping (Revogenex / Comprent Motor Sport). All three have shown amazing pace but need to reign in their youthful exuberance which has led to a number of unforced errors in the first two rounds.
Another driver looking to make amends is 2020 runner up Steve Jenks (Audien Hearing / Group-A) who has shown staggering speed at times this year, but has not had consistent pace or the best of luck thus far. Others to keep an eye on in PRO 1500 are Nate Smith (Largersmith / Speed du Nord), who scored two podium finishes at Road America, as well as Texas / Esses Racing teammates and locals Bake Mycoskie and Kit Leslie.
The 1340 class is also expected to be fiercely fought. Vince Switzer and CROWN Concepts, who took a trifecta of wins during Round 1, return to the championship to take on young-guns Christian Weir (Power Equipment Direct / Team Stradale) and Zac Ping (Revogenex / Comprent Motor Sport), who duked it out at Road America. Weir clinched two victories in Wisconsin, while Ping is still looking to secure his first.
Switzer’s teammates, Jason Plotke (Apex Motor Club / CROWN Concepts) and Chris McMurry (prisma / CROWN Concepts) also have their eye on the top step of the podium, especially the latter who is a former Sebring 12 Hour winner. The same goes for points leader Mike Anzaldi (Emmett’s Energy / Anzaldi GP), who has scored a podium in each race so far this season, including a win at Road America. Reid Stewart will be another to watch, as he makes his series debut for Radical New York and Group-A Racing. With a newcomer and the Apex Country Club contingent back onboard, ten PRO 1340 cars will be taking to the track this weekend.
The event commences Friday with a staggering 2.5 hours of testing, before qualifying and two races on Saturday and the final race Sunday morning. Follow all the action on social media and live timing via RaceMonitor.