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Apr 7, 2017

Radical Australia Cup returns to Sandown



It may have been two months since the opening round of the 2017 Radical Australia Cup at Mount Panorama, but the desire of the teams hasn’t faltered since Bathurst, with an impressive entry for the second round of the season at Sandown International Raceway.

Joining the Shannons Nationals after a two-year sabbatical, the series is back and if the racing at Bathurst was a guide, there will be plenty of records broken this weekend.
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Bathurst saw the debut of the new 2017 SR3 RSX model with the long-stroke 1500cc Hyabusa powerplant and whilst it was fast in the hands of Oliver Smith, no one could stop two-time Radical Australia Cup champion Peter Paddon from taking what was his fifth and sixth straight victories in a SR3RS at the Mountain.
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Paddon now leads the series entering Sandown, but even he has admitted that after seeing the new RSX up close, he believes that the new car will come into its own at Sandown that features two of the longest straights in the country.
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As Paddon’s closest rival for the 2017 points lead, Oliver Smith, perhaps starts favourite this weekend, his new mount aside, across the most recent RAC races held at Sandown - 2014 and 2015 - Smith holds the most wins in an SR3 at two, whilst Paddon has taken just the one victory (Race 1 2015).
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Interestingly, both of Smith’s victories came in longer 50-minute races, whilst Paddon won an 18-lap sprint.
The only other driver from that period who saw some level of success who is entered this weekend, is another sporting an updated 2017 SR3 RSX - Sydney’s Kim Burke.
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There will be six of the new SR3RSX models on track this weekend, and all are likely to be in the mix across the two 50-minute races.
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Conditions are expected to be perfect on Friday and much of Saturday, and new lap records are expected to be set being set  in qualifying and across the opening 50-minute race.
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Sunday’s prediction though could present a whole new challenge for the Radical regulars with rain and much cooler temperatures currently predicted.
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There will be only a few Sandown rookies, although Peter Clare and Simon Meade should adapt quickly; Meade one of those who will be looking to impress on his ‘home’ circuit, whilst Clare showed impressive pace on his RAC debut at Bathurst in what was a real initiation of fire.