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Oct 31, 2014

RADICAL TITLE THRILLER SET FOR SYDNEY DECIDER

A THRILLER points battle in the Radical Australia Cup has two of the series best drivers almost locked together at the top of the standings ahead of this weekend’s Shannons Nationals season finale’.

SR8 class leader Tim Berryman (right) and SR3 benchmark Michael Shaw (left) might be in different cars – one races the V8 powered SR8 and the other a four-cylinder entry – but they are only one point apart on the overall standings ahead of the final three races.

The points battle took a further twist this afternoon after Berryman crashed heavily at turn one in final practice – putting the Radical works team on the back foot ahead of qualifying tomorrow.

The RAC point score rewards consistency and crucially also only awards maximum points if a certain number of cars compete in each category at any given round – swinging the favour to Shaw who races amongst the more numerous SR3s.

“It’s been an exciting championship so far and it’s been great to see how the points system has allowed both the SR3 and SR8 guys to stay in contention,” Radical Australia’s Rod Wilson said.

The former racer has been at the helm of the Radical class this year and says the championship could go each way.

“Michael has been one of the form drivers of the year in the very competitive SR3 class but Tim has also been exceptional and has really taken on Neale Muston who has obviously been so good in these cars. It could go either way – I’m not going to pick it!”

Both drivers have had outstanding seasons with Berryman duelling regularly with dominant RAC champion Neale Muston, and Shaw heading off an extremely competitive four-cylinder class.

Berryman crashed entering turn one today when a left-rear tyre appeared to puncture, sending the car into the wall. The New South Wales driver was unscathed in the high-speed crash and expects to be back on track tomorrow after repairs are completed by the works Radical outfit.

In a unique format, the Radical Australia Cup will contest three races this weekend; two 35-minute races on Saturday with a further 50-minute mini-enduro on Sunday to conclude the season.

The Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship and Kumho Tyres V8 Touring Cars series both conclude their respective titles this weekend and both offered competitive glimpses at their weekends ahead today.

Justin Ruggier set the fastest time in practice early this morning however he and Ryan Simpson were evenly matched in the afternoon sessions – run in hotter conditions.

The same was evident in the Formula 3 sessions with Championship leader Simon Hodge comfortably quickest early on before title rival Ben Gersekowski responded in the afternoon, closing the margin on a slower track.

The F3ADC confirmed earlier today that they would return to the Shannons Nationals in force next year, completing all seven rounds of the Gold Star title race with the series.

Sonic Motor Racing’s Nick Rowe topped Formula Ford practice however the usual suspects this year – Thomas Randle, James Golding, Jordan Lloyd and Hamish Hardeman – all amongst the pointy end of the pack today.

Meanwhile, Brisbane driver Colin Smith says he's after a consistent weekend in the Kerrick Sports Sedan series in an effort to secure second in the championship this year - behind likely champion Tony Ricciardello.

The Holden Monaro driver sits 115 points behind Ricciardello in the standings and 35 in front of defending champion Bruce Banks - and says he's focussed on scoring second spot this weekend.

“I am a slight mathematical chance of winning but to be honest I think Tony would need to come down with food poisoning or something and then I would just about have to win (the round), so we will be focusing on second,” he said.

Click here to read a full rundown from today's Kerrick Series activities.

A busy Saturday kicks off at 9:05 am with qualifying for the one-make PRB Clubman Series ahead of qualifying and the opening races for all classes in the afternoon.

Sunday’s schedule will be streamed live at thenationals.com.au ‘Nationals TV’ service, and via the MotorsportsTV app available on iPhone and Android platforms.