3.4.18- Hunt Seals Second in Season Opener
Scorpio Motorsport enjoyed an impressive weekend as Will Hunt drove the #21 Radical SR1 car to Second in the season opener of the 2018 Radical SR1 Cup at Oulton Park.
Under the shadows of the giant trucks and glamour of the British GT, Radical Sportscars put on a spectacular season opener for the 10 car strong grid.
The weekend began on Friday with free practice where Hunt arrived without seeing the Oulton circuit previously. Following an out lap of the Cheshire circuit Hunt's car began to have overheating issues which overshadowed the whole of the practice session. Later that day the Scorpio Motorsport mechanics identified the issue as a Radiator fault which was fixed in time for qualifying on Saturday.
"We were really concerned about the issue during practice; Every time we put our foot down and went for a fast lap the warnings would appear on our dash and i did not want to damage the car before the race, so we brought it in to get the issue repaired. This meant we really didn't have much knowledge of the circuit going in to qualifying.
Qualifying on Saturday began with some impressively quick laps which saw Hunt top the timing sheets despite a lack of circuit knowledge. Radical Works team's Ryan Harper-Ellam found pace as the session went on to take pole with the 2017 Championship runner up, James Pinkerton securing second putting Hunt in third for both races.
Race 1- Pole sitter Harper-Ellam had a slow getaway allowing Pinkerton to secure the lead, It would turn out after turn 1 that a mechanical issue would force the Shootout winner out of contention leaving Hunt and Pinkerton out in front. The gap for the first couple of laps would remain tight however Pinkerton's experience and circuit knowledge would prove vital to keeping Hunt behind as he slowly began to put distance between himself and Hunt. Will remained undeterred by the ever increasing gap and continued to push hard to catch up, however at the half way point of the race Will's endevours to close the gap would prove to be costly as a high speed off at Cascades would give Pinkerton the guarantee of top spot. Hunt managed to get the car back on to the track undamaged and still in position to finish his first ever race in Second.
"I knew James would have the pace on me as he had been here before; it was reassuring seeing how close we were for the first couple of laps however as the race went on he just managed to make up the time in the areas of the circuit i still wasn't dialed in to. I was pushing like mad to catch up however the off at Cascades did put me in to a bit of a recovery mode; after that I just wanted to make sure I brought her home in one piece...and on the podium!
Race 2- Harper-Ellam struggled off the line allowing Hunt through to second yet again off the start and a look up the inside of turn 1 on Pinkerton would demonstrate Hunt's charge for the lead. Unable to make a move up the inside, the #21 Scorpio would retain second and keep close onto the rear wing of the #22 Car. A similar scenario to race 1 would unfold as Pinkerton's experience would create the necessary gap to keep Hunt behind. At the mid way point, Will found himself on the defensive instead of the offensive as a hard charging Harper-Ellam was not taking any prisoners on his chase back for position. A stunning move around the outside of Cascades on Hunt would provide him with the clear air needed to hunt down Pinkerton. At the checkered it would be 3rd for Will Hunt and the award for 1st place Rookie for the Weekend.
"This result puts all the guys in the garage on a high; It's my first ever race weekend and to come away from it with a Second, Third and fastest rookie is a dream come true."
"When Ryan passed me i knew it was just about bringing the car home, I knew this was going to be one of my weaker circuits on the calendar so the most important thing for me was about the points-If we could go to race 2 with a good points position then we can have a real good shot at Snetterton."
"...The big motivator is theirs only one more step on the podium we haven't stood on..."
Racing action continues on 12th May at Snetterton on the 300 circuit.