Jérôme de Sadeleer was crowned 2017 Radical SR1 Cup Champion at Snetterton today, with two second-place podium finishes added to his outstanding debut season sealing the title by 71 points from James Pinkerton.
Heading into the final championship rounds, 38 points separated the leaders, both drivers having taken a win apiece at Donington Park two weeks ago. Pinkerton’s hopes of taking the championship fight down to the wire faded away, however, when a broken chain left him stranded on pole position as the field streamed away for the first race of the weekend.
It was SR1 Cup debutant, Radical Challenge SR3 regular Kristian Jeffrey that led the field into Riches from his second-place grid position, leaving de Sadeleer to slot in behind. With Jeffrey not eligible to score championship points as a guest driver, de Sadeleer held station unchallenged to take the title spoils.
Out front, Jeffrey set a blistering pace, setting consecutive fastest laps en route to his first Radical race win and victory on UK soil. After a strong third-row start, Rob Courtneidge overhauled Fangio Trophy pole-sitter Andy Chittenden early on to complete the podium, matching his season best third-place finish at Donington Park.
Andrew Ritchie kept Chittenden at bay to score solid points for fourth, while the latter took the Fangio Trophy class victory for drivers aged 50 years and over. Nigel Paine completed the top six ahead of a solid drive from Motorsport News’ Rob Ladbrook, who did well to recover from a delayed start.
With more than a point to prove and second place in the standings to secure, Pinkerton was on a mission for the final SR1 Cup race of the season. The Radical Works Team driver launched off the line to challenge pole-sitter Jeffrey and take the lead into turn one, with de Sadeleer retaining third.
Head down, Pinkerton wasted no time in pulling out an early lead while Jeffrey came under pressure from de Sadeleer and, by the end of lap two, the 360 Racing driver found a way through. Meanwhile, the battle for fourth was on between Fangio Trophy leader Chittenden and Courtneidge, until Chittenden coasted to retirement at the end of lap six, promoting Ritchie up the order after a sterling drive from eighth to sixth by the end of lap three.
As tyre wear started to become a factor come mid-race distance, Pinkerton pulled out a commanding lead while Jeffrey chipped away at de Sadeleer’s 1.9-second advantage to threaten for second in the closing stages. With the pair running nose-to-tail heading into the penultimate tour, Jeffrey made his move heading onto the Bentley Straight only for de Sadeleer to fight back and regain position at Nelson.
Jeffrey kept up the pressure throughout the final lap but a spin at Brundle ensured the order remained unchanged to cement the final SR1 Cup podium of the season, Pinkerton’s second career win sealing his runner-up championship status. Courtneidge followed his third-place race one podium with fourth in race two, while fifth from Ritchie secured third in the title standings.
Paine took the Fangio Trophy win with sixth overall, but Peter Devlin walks away as outright class Champion by a single point.
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Radical SR1 Cup Final Championship Standings (Provisional)
- Jérôme de Sadeleer 300
- James Pinkerton 229
- Andrew Ritchie 188
- Nigel Paine 159
- Peter Devlin 156
- Rob Courtneidge 146
Radical SR1 Cup Fangio Trophy
- Peter Devlin 260
- Nigel Paine 259
- David Tagg 176
- Andy Chittenden 89
- Stanislas de Sadeleer 40