The Radical Australia Cup (RAC) will begin its 11th season with a bang as a host of big names make their way to Mount Panorama to take part in the 2019 season opener.
Headlining the 22-car entry list is multiple champion Peter Paddon, who returns to the Radical Australia Cup after taking last year off to focus on his young family.
The 2017 Radical Australia Cup winner is one of three former Radical champions expected to compete at Bathurst, with three-time champion Neale Muston and 2011 winner Ed Singleton also set to make their grand return to the category.
While the former champions lead the charge of competitors with a wealth of experience in the Radicals, the category will welcome some debutants with Grant Denyer the biggest name on the list.
The Australian Production Cars Series regular and TV personality will make his first appearance in the Radical alongside GT3 regular Brad Shiels after a big 2018.
Denyer and Shiels will form part of the Bathurst-based Pennells family two-car team, with David Pennells and Matthew Windsor confirming their position as Denyar and Shiels’ teammates.
The Radical field will also see its youngest ever competitor for Mount Panorama line up, with CAMS Australian Formula 4 Championship driver Aaron Love another driver making his debut.
Behind the wheel of the SR3RSX run by South Australia’s experienced BRM, Love will tackle the mountain alongside another debutant, former GT driver Brenton Griguol.
Along with the new competitors and former champions expected to compete, a number of Radical regulars are set to tackle the mountain this week, including Kostinken Pohorukov, who is back for the first time since 2016, as well as Greg Kenny.
While 2018 champion Kim Burke announcing his decision to take a break from full-time competition and miss the 2019 season, his 2018 title rival Chris Perini will be headlining the field of last year’s regulars.
Perini will be joined by fellow competitors Simon Haggarty, Brad and Mitch Neilson, Rowan Ross, Anthony Davis, Michael Whiting, Will Medland and Radical Australia Motorsport’s own Chris Medland.
For Medland, the diverse field of the Radical Australia Cup’s season opener marks a positive start for the category, which will see this year’s rounds spread across the Shannons Nationals and the Australian Production Car Championship.
“Bathurst is a fantastic way to start a new season and it always delivers some fantastic results,” Medland said.
“To see three former champions in the field looking to open their 2019 account with a win is terrific, whilst we’re also seeing some new teams comes in for the first time, as well as some new cars – it’s going to be a great start to the season.
“We’ve restructured the calendar to take in two rounds at Sydney Motorsport Park – which is where Radical is based, a return to The Bend – which was incredibly popular last year, Phillip Island and Bathurst, whilst our competitors loved closing out the year in past seasons at Highlands, so we’re excited to bring the New Zealand event back for this year.”
The Radical Australia Cup will kick off its 11th season as a support category for the Bathurst 1000 with a 45-minute race on both Friday and Saturday morning.