A WILDLY unpredictable weekend of racing was the result the last time the Workhorse Radical Cup Australia Series visited Queensland Raceway.
Here's a refresher about how the weekend unfolded, before we get stuck in for 2023..
PETERS Paddon and Carr have held off championship leader Chris Perini to claim a sensational 40-lap Radical Cup Australia opener at Queensland Raceway, injecting further excitement into the 2022 title race. A thrilling finish to the 50-minute race saw Peter Carr holding on to a diminishing lead as Perini chased him down in the most tense and competitve finish of the year. Behind them both, Mitch Neilson was quicker than both leaders and closing the margin down at a significant rate as the race drew to a close. The field compressed to the point where the three were line astern as they crossed the line; Perini unable to squeeze by Carr – who shared his car with Peter Paddon as usual – and Mitch Neilson – who shared with Brad – just behind.
It was a clutch win for the Paddon / Carr combination with the pair only trailing Perini by a handful of points heading into the final two rounds and four races of the season. Polesitter Adam Lisle and Jordan Oon finished fourth and set the quickest lap of the race, while Sebastien Fiorenza completed the top-five. The frenetic race saw the #47 entry of Peter Clare lead the opening two laps of the 50-minute race, before Elliott Schutte grabbed the lead on the third lap. The Arise Racing driver would lead the next three tours before the #31 First Focus entry driven by Peter Paddon assumed the race lead for the first time. He led the race to their compulsory stop on lap 14, returning the lead to Clare in the Shared Runway / Volante Rosso entry. He stopped on Lap 16, Zig Fuhrmeister taking point until he stopped three laps later – handing the lead to Carr. Starting off the front row, Perini made quick work through the field and climbed to second by the sixth lap of the race. He stopped on the same lap as the Paddon / Carr entry, and briefly grabbed the lead on Lap 28, before ceding the lead back to his closest title rivals a lap later. The pair ran nose to tail for the remainder of the race with Perini closing in towards the end, but unable to launch an attack for the lead. The Neilson’s ran sixth in the early stages but gradually worked their way forward through the field as the race evolved, ending up third by the time the stops had been completed. With Mitch behind the wheel, the #38 Streamlined Energy entry was the quickest on the track in the closing stages and closed to within a few tenths of Perini at the end. Adam Lisle and Jordan Oon finished fourth, the latter setting the fastest lap at 1m10.8715s on lap 35. Sebastien Fiorenza finished fifth, Peter Clare sixth having led early with Zig Fuhrmeister, Ash Samadi, Warwick Morris and Jonathan Grant completing the top-10. Crucially, from a championship point of view, one of the three non-finishers was title contender Elliott Schutte, who was out after 30 of the scheduled 40 laps with damage to his front splitter.
RACE 2 - SUNDAY
A LATE RACE pass has seen Chris Perini charge to the front to claim Race 2 and the overall round honours in a dramatic fourth round of the 2022 Radical Cup Australia at Queensland Raceway.
The Sydneysider had lurked within sight of the lead for much of the first half of a Safety Car interrupted 50-minute enduro on Sunday morning at Queensland Raceway but struck late in the race to claim the lead.
West Aussie’s Adam Lisle and Jordan Oon had commanded the early lead aboard their Arise Racing entry, leading the first 20 laps prior to their compulsory stop on the 20th lap.
That elevated the Brad / Mitch Neilson entry to the race lead which they were able to hold throughout their CPS on lap 23.
Perini, at this point, was back in second position having elected to serve his compulsory stop early in the race, his brand new #81 Bing Technologies Radical SR3 RSX having headed to the lane on lap 12, putting him out of sequence with the leaders.
He then struck on lap 30, moving to a race lead that he would never lose after passing the Neilson entry.
The Arise Racing car of Oon and Lisle also jumped the Volante Rosso car to move to second.
Things were far from sorted, however, with the minors changing hands several times in the final laps.
Zig Fuhrmeister was the man on a mission, charging from 6th on lap 31 to 2nd, briefly, on the 34th and penultimate lap of the race – before dropping back to sixth as he crossed the line.
Through that exchange, young-gun Sebastien Fiorenza had climbed to second position and crossed the line in the runner-up spot, however was penalised 10-seconds post race for an on track incident – one that dropped him down to seventh in the final results.
Through it all, Lisle and Oon retained second behind Perini, while Peters Paddon and Carr finished third, fending off the Neilson Radical in a close battle for the final step on the podium.
The Neilson’s also left Queensland Raceway with a new Radical lap record at the venue, Neale Muston’s 10-year-old benchmark broken thanks to a flying 1m10.3777s on lap 15.
Fuhrmeister finished a strong and racy fifth with Peter Clare sixth, Fiorenza seventh, Stephen Champion eighth, Bradley Russell ninth and Bill Medland 10th.
Two cars failed to finish, including Jonathan Grant and Elliott Schutte, who endured a challenging weekend aboard his Arise Racing entry.
He ran as high as sixth in race two before his car ground to a halt between Turn 1 and 2 on lap 27, bringing out the Safety Car and ending his day in the process.
The final results saw Perini claim the round victory and extend his championship lead, Peters Paddon & Carr second and the Lisle / Oon combination on the podium again in third.
A title contender heading into the weekend, Elliott Schutte’s double DNF ensures he leaves Queensland with just the two points achieved in qualifying to his name.