Radical SR3 Challenge MSVR Castle Combe Report 02/08/14

After the earlier Radical Clubman’s Cup race after the Formula Ford stanza, it was the turn of the premier UK Radical racing series, the SR3 Challenge, to take too the track. Despite a smaller than usual grid for this 90 minute endurance race the race still promised much excitement as some of Britain’s premier club Sportscar drivers took up their places on the starting grid. There was drama before the start however as rainfall over the back section of the circuit meant that one side was relatively dry whilst the other half was a completely wet circuit, leaving a massive headache for the drivers and teams before the start.

It was the Peter Belshaw/Phil Keen car that took place with amateur driver Belshaw taking the start, with soloist Lewis Plato alongside him on the front row. The Andy Cummings/Bradley Ellis SR3 took 3rd as ex-British GT champion Ellis took the start with another soloist Shahin Nouri completing row 2. From the start Bradley Ellis rocketed into an early lead as the rest of the field tip toed around the first laps on the greasy track. As Ellis and Lewis Plato shot away from the rest it appeared they may be on different tyres to the rest, such was their early advantage. By lap 7 it became clear tail enders Manhal Allos and Ossy Yusuf were the only one’s on wet tyres as they both set a string of Fastest laps, although their wet tyres would soon be destroyed by the rapidly drying conditions.

By lap 17 it became clear the crossover point for dry tyres had been reached, as Ellis began setting a string of his own fastest laps to only extend his huge lead from the rest behind. The hopes of 3rd man Jasper Westerholm took an early hit as he was forced in for an unscheduled stop on lap 21 with a right rear puncture, dropping him well down the order. Between laps 25 and 30 the lead dice was hotting up as leader Ellis and Plato in 2nd began trading fastest laps between each other.

On lap 32 the pit window opened for the cars in group A of the pit schedule, with 2nd man Plato and Peter Belshaw immediately taking advantage of this and pitting from their positions. The A group were all quick to pit in the subsequent laps although for the B group it took them a little longer to make their mandatory pitstop’s. Bradley Ellis was unsurprisingly the last to stop as on lap 42 as he handed over to his amateur team mate Andy Cummings with a significant lead of a lap and a bit over the rest. At this point of the race it was the Kevin Mills Radical SR3 of ex-single seater champion Scott Malvern who was setting the pace with very quick 1m04.2 lap times as he made up some ground lost in the first stint by co-driver Nick Jones.

The impressive stint from Malvern didn’t last much longer sadly as he caused a Safety Car deployment on lap 47 to recover his car after crashing, although when later interviewed he explained a gear selection issue caused the off. The Safety Car was ill-timed for Cummings as he lost almost all his advantage as the rest made up their lap to him up front. Things quickly got even worse for Cummings as he was forced to pit for a stop/go penalty, only reducing his lead further as the Safety Car came in on lap 51.

After his stop/go penalty allowed Lewis Plato into the lead of the race on lap 52, it was a tall order for amateur driver Cummings to keep up the professional drivers in the cars around him for the remainder of the race. A car off at Quarry necessitated another Safety Car on lap 56, although it’s very late deployment almost caught out the leading runners as they were forced to quickly slow down behind it. The Safety Car came in on lap 59, and Plato soon set about building a lead to the rest from the re-start. Ex-British GT and TVR Tuscan racer Phil Keen made light work of Cummings at the Esses to claim 2nd on lap 61, with a second penalty for Cummings effectively destroying his chances of a top 2 result as he was forced to pit again late on lap 66.

6 Radical SR3 Challenge

The final laps provided a showdown finish as Keen began closing on Plato at the rate of 0.5 seconds per lap as he hunted for the win, with his first challenge for the lead coming at the Esses on the penultimate lap. The final laps were tense for the leading two although eventually Lewis Plato came home for victory by only 0.3 seconds from the Belshaw/Keen car after 90 minutes of flat out racing. The greatly unlucky Ellis/Cummings car came home 3rd from a lapped Jesper Westerholm in 4th, with Manhal Allos and the Kim/Moseley cars completing the top 6 in an exciting endurance race from the Radical SR3 Challenge.

Credit for these great photos go to

6 Radical SR3 Challenge

For more info on this exciting Radical series please visit the link below


Radical Clubman’s Cup MSVR Castle Combe Report 02/08/14

After the lunch break, the first race was for the Radical Clubman’s Cup, a stepping stone in the Radical progression from the entry level SR1 cup to the higher profile SR3 Challenge or even European Masters series. Although the grid was not the biggest last weekend the series always provides close racing and plenty more was expected from their two races over the course of the day.

After qualifying it was Dan Vaughan in his SR3 that was on pole, from young hot shoe Oskar Kruger in his smaller PR6 model. Row 2 consisted of Steve Burgess in his SR3 from Brian Caudwell in a similar SR3 in 4th. From the start it was Kruger who made the best start although he was challenged for the lead by the fast starting Ben Dimmack, up from 8th on the grid, although some questioned whether he made too good a getaway. Into Quarry things got frantic however as 5 cars collided, although several were able to continue. The amount of stranded cars left the organisers with no option but to red flag the race to allow the stranded cars to be recovered safely.

After a 10 minute delay the cars began to line up on the grid again for the re-start, which had now been cut from 20 minutes to 15 in order to try make up time for the Castle Combe Saloons to have their race at the end of the day. At the re-start things carried over with Kruger quickly demoting Dimmack from the lead at the Esses on the opening lap. Kruger was clearly on a mission as he built up a lead of several seconds over the next few laps, and things got even more comfortable for him when news filtered through on lap 4 that 2nd man Dimmack was to have 10 seconds added to his race time for a jump start.

From the mid race point the depleted field were evenly spread out until the finish as Kruger came through for a comfortable victory, from Brian Caudwell in 2nd whilst the time penalty for Dimmack demoted him from 2nd on the road to 3rd in the overall result. John Macleod came home 4th in his SR3, whilst Brian Murphy and Richard Stables completed the top 6 from a truncated opening Radical Clubman’s Cup race.

For the second race later on in the afternoon, the grid was back up to full strength after the multi car accident in the opening race, with the front row order reversed this time around as the opening race winner Oskar Kruger claimed pole from Dan Vaughan, whilst similarly to race 1 Steve Burgess was 3rd from Brian Caudwell completed row 2. At the start it was Kruger and Burgess who made the best getaway’s to take an initial lead in this once again reduced to 15 minutes race.

Race 1 standout Ben Dimmack was at it again in race 2 as he came through to an initial 2nd place, although by lap 4 Burgess was beginning to seriously challenge Dimmack for the place as Kruger sprinted away into the distance up front. Dan Vaughan made a bad start and spent the early portion of the race attempting to make up some of the lost ground. His challenge for 4th place ended in tears on lap 6 as he passed John Macleod for the position before almost simultaneously spinning at the Esses, and into subsequent retirement.

The Safety Car was immediately deployed on lap 7 as it was deemed the car was in a dangerous position, although it only took 2 laps to recover the car before the Safety Car went in again. From here Kruger picked up where he left off before the Safety Car as he quickly restored a lead of several seconds over the rest. Behind Kruger Dimmack was had to defend courageously against Burgess behind him, although on the penultimate lap exiting Camp corner Burgess found a way through on the inside to claim 2nd, a position he would hold to the flag. Kruger was again dominant as he took a second victory of the day from Burgess and Dimmack. John Macleod came home for double 4th place from Brian Caudwell in 5th and finally Brian Murphy who completed the top 6.

These races were entertaining for the spectators although a few more cars on the entry list would have really enhanced the races last weekend, although in peak holiday season a dip in a usually much larger entry list is to be expected. All of the MSVR series who raced at Castle Combe last weekend would definitely be welcomed back by the spectators next year.

Credit for the excellent photos go to’s%20Cup:%20Donington%20Park%2026%20April%20Race%20Report&passive=1&r=9&t=282

For more information in this series please visit their website through the link below