Will Hunt ends breakthrough Radical SR1 Cup season on Donington Park podium
Updated: Oct 28, 2020
Will Hunt lifted himself to third in the definitive 2020 Radical SR1 Cup standings by racing to another podium in the Donington Park season finale (Saturday 24 October), which was curtailed by heavy rain.
The SR1 Cup field experienced everything from damp but drying conditions to torrential downpours during Friday testing, and although it was Hunt’s first wet weather outing of 2020, he was one of the fastest and most consistent drivers of the day.
Once acclimatised, Hunt and his Scorpio Motorsport team methodically assessed wet setups, with rain featuring prominently in Saturday’s forecast.
A suitable compromise was found, and Hunt spent much of the fourth and final SR1 Cup test atop the leaderboard, although it was nearly impossible to draw any conclusions from the lap times in such inclement conditions.
Qualifying began under overcast skies on Saturday morning and lap times tumbled dramatically from the off, but a light sprinkling of rain caused some disruption and Scorpio Motorsport utilised a mid-session red flag to adjust the #21 car’s setup for the greasy conditions.
It was only after the stoppage that Hunt began making an impression, and although the session included a spin at Coppice corner, the Motorsport UK Academy Squad driver stayed composed and propelled himself up to second on a 1m12.191s.
In Round 7 – the penultimate race of the 2020 season – the track was bone dry and lap times were significantly quicker than in qualifying, and poleman James Pinkerton managed to edge out an advantage while Hunt consolidated second position by putting some distance between himself and Ross Elliott in third.
The grid for Round 8 was decided by the second fastest qualifying times and Hunt would have a lot of work to do from eighth.
However, conditions took a turn for the worse, rain intensifying as the afternoon wore on to not only cause a delay, but prompt officials to implement a Safety Car start.
The field circulated behind the Safety Car for five laps, but the race was abandoned, much to the frustration of Hunt, who was confident in the work he and Scorpio Motorsport had done to optimise the #21 car for wet races.
Hunt was subsequently unable to vie for an improved championship standing, but having collected two race wins, three podiums and a pole position over the course of the condensed 2020 season, the Sussex driver still finished third overall in the definitive Radical SR1 Cup classification.
“I’ve always considered Donington Park to be my bogey circuit so it feels great to come away with another podium, and I feel the result is a real reflection of how far we’ve come,” said Hunt. “I was disappointed that race two was called off because I would have liked to have done a few laps and to have had an opportunity to push for second in the championship, as I’m confident we would have been strong. However, there was a lot of aquaplaning behind the Safety Car, so conditions were probably too bad to continue and officials were right to abandon the race.
“On the whole, the 2020 season has been absolutely fantastic. I have taken huge steps forward in my pace and development as a racing driver and I’ve learned a lot about driving the Radical SR1 quickly. Motorsport UK has helped me understand how best to use my time and find little gains for big rewards. Compared to previous years, I’ve kept myself in a positive frame of mind, my approach is far more precise and I feel so much more complete. There are still a few chinks in my armour, but I know what’s required to win and I’ll have an opportunity to apply all of my new skills and knowledge from the outset of 2021.”