For the second successive Radical weekend, RAW Motorsports James Lay proved all-conquering with another winning treble.
RAW’s John Macleod pipped title contenders Lay and Noah Degnbol for pole in the opening race of the weekend, but it was Lay that completed the opening race lap with a growing lead.
“I was third into the first corner, Jim Booth led but slowed and delayed Macleod, so I went around the outside and led out,” Lay explained.
Booth was still in second with the extra pace of the SR10, followed by Mectech’s Anthony Ayres and Macleod.
Out though was early season winner Jason Rishover, after an off at Copse on the first lap when a narrowing gap forced the car to snap right into the barrier after emergency braking.
But Breakell Racing Degnbol ousted Macleod at Village, before the polesitter began to slip down the order. “I had to brake early at the first corner behind Jim and I was stuffed down in fourth, before the engine temperature went sky high as the water pump failed,” he explained.
Ayres was struggling to get past Booth in his quest to chase down Lay’s growing lead, “Then I got held up at Brooklands and Noah got me,” Ayres explained after losing third to Degnbol.
Both Degnbol and 360’s James Sweetnam managed to get Booth on lap three, but Lay’s lead once again had proved decisive taking the flag over four seconds clear.
“I had a bad start but made up for it,” said second placed Degnbol, after he pulled well clear of Ayres. Meanwhile, in fourth, Sweetnam had over 15 seconds in hand over the chasing pack.
RAW’s Ben Stone and Chris Preen got past Booth in the closing laps, but Stone had a water pump failure on the last corner and coasted over the line in eighth, after Preen, Gustavo Rafols and Booth had all gone by.
Chris Short and DW’s Peter Tyler completed the top 10.
With Jacek Zielonka, Jack Yang and Tyler all first lap casualties, the safety car was soon in action in race two.
Lay was leading Ayres, Macleod, Preen, Stone and Degnbol but it was three laps before the green flag was waved and action recommenced.
“I’d got clear at the start and again at the restart, but that brings a 20 second penalty for the final race,” said Lay after 2.7 seconds victory over Ayres.
“I had some contact at the start and got pushed off, but although James got tactical, I had a good restart. He got away and I concentrated on the gap behind,” Ayres added.
Macleod had come under late pressure from Degnbol but held onto third. “I got a fairly good start and restart but it was close. Then Noah started to close but he wasn’t really close enough to challenge me,” he said.
Preen and Stone took their duel for fifth to the last lap, before Preen claimed it. “It was a good race though,” Stone admitted.
Sweetnam was seventh on the road but was given a two-place penalty for gaining an unfair advantage. “I went off at Maggotts Becketts and rejoined without giving a place back,” he confirmed.
Rishover and Booth therefore moved up, with Sweetnam classified ninth and Elliott Goodman completing the top 10.
The skies had darkened and rain looked to be close as the final race of the weekend formed up on the grid.
Everyone but Doris Motorsport’s Mark Williams was on slicks before the race had barely got underway and rain started to fall.
Degnbol grabbed the early lead from Lay, Sweetnam and Rafols, but over the next few laps, almost the entire rest of the field made a stop for wet tyres.
“Noah got me around the outside at Copse, but I stopped for tyres a lap earlier and had one lap advantage on wets,” said Lay.
As Williams stayed out, by the end of lap seven he had a 35 seconds lead over Stone, with the leading SR1’s in the overall mix too.
The compulsory stops followed with Stone the last to pit, as the safety car appeared.
Three laps later it went green with just five minutes to go. Williams led from Lay, with Degnbol, Sweetnam, Short and Preen in contention too.
With a lap to go Lay snatched the lead, “the safety car helped me and then I just got away on the last lap,” he said after completing another hattrick.
Degnbol had followed into second on the final lap, with Williams just hanging onto third as they rounded Brooklands for the final time. But both Sweetnam and Short had got by exiting Luffield, leaving Williams to take the flag in fourth.
“It was great to lead and maybe I should have backed them up behind the safety car more, but I was more determined not to bin it,” Williams admitted.
Sweetnam was given a 30-second penalty for a safety car infringement, dropping him to 10th and putting Williams back on the podium.
“Second was OK, I did my best but lost time in the pits. Maybe I should have stayed on slicks, but from eighth after the safety car I just past what I could, where I could, everywhere,” said Degnbol.
Preen, Stone and Ayres completed the top six. “I think I was one of the only one’s who did the whole race on slicks,” said Stone.
TWO OUT OF THREE FOR DE LEON, AS WOOD TAKES MAIDEN VICTORY
Daryl De Leon increased his lead in the SR1 Cup with two wins at Silverstone.
Combined with the Radical Challenge on a delayed start, De Leon was never seriously challenged in the opening race, taking victory by 2.8 seconds from Frazer McFadden.
Tom Wood held second until Village on the opening lap, but spent the next few laps keeping debutant Tom Fleming at bay.
But Fleming lost drive and retired, which left Ben Caisley and James Ockenden to round off the top six.
Fleming was back on the pace in race two and kept De Leon on his toes as they eased clear of McFadden. All three held station to fill the podium, with Wood, Caisley and Ockenden completing the top six again.
“I got away from the start just like the first race. The car felt good and that just gave me more confidence,” said De Leon.
“I got held up a bit after the safety car, when an SR3 was in among us,” McFadden added.
With the rain at the start of race three and the SR3’s pitting for wets, the battle for SR1 supremacy found itself in the overall top 10.
De Leon had the early lead again from Wood, Dougie Bolger and McFadden, until Bolger took charge from lap five and found himself fourth overall, with Wood following.
Wood’s experience finally told and in the three-lap sprint to the finish after the safety car intervention, he was able to seal a three- seconds victory over Fleming, who just came out in top in a dash for the line with Bolger.
Caisley, De Leon and McFadden were the rest of the top six, all well down on the lead trio.
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Published by Peter Scherer for Radical Motorsport, August 1st 2022