The 2019 Radical Australia Cup title contest has reached boiling point, and GWR Australia finds itself in the thick of the fight, with two of its drivers tied on points heading into this weekend’s fifth round at The Bend Motorsport Park.
Peter Paddon and Chris Perini have each achieved round victories this season, and are neck-and-neck heading into the event, which will support the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship at the newest circuit in the country. Also representing GWR for the weekend will be Stephen Champion, Paul Braico and Kosta Pohorukov, with all five drivers having achieved top-three results this season.
Paddon and Perini are thoroughly enjoying the competition with one another.
“It’s going to come down to finishing races – neither one of us can afford a DNF,” Paddon said.
“When you look at all our races this season, there haven’t been many occasions where we’ve passed one another on track… but I think we’re reaching a stage where we’ll start to see some wheel-to-wheel combat.
“Last year, The Bend wasn’t a good round for me because I had a couple of DNFs, but I love the track. It promotes excellent racing, there are passing opportunities and it rewards brave driving.”
Perini and Pohorukov both tested at the track last Friday, and said it was a productive day despite mixed weather conditions.
“It was my first time at The Bend, and normally to learn a new track I would do some simulator work, but because it’s such a new venue, there isn’t a lot of sim data,” Pohorukov said.
“I studied a lot of in-car footage, and each session during the day, I kept pushing harder and braking later as I became more confident. Garth (Walden) drove my car as well, which was useful for giving me some data reference points and tuning the setup.
“It rained in the afternoon, and I was thankful for some wet track time – it will definitely help if there’s any inclement weather this weekend.”
“The test day was very positive – I completed plenty of laps, we experimented with setup changes throughout the day, and we went much faster than last year,” Perini added.
“We did some qualifying-type laps and some longer race runs, and the car was strong in all conditions.
“Last year, I had a race win, so hopefully I can repeat the performance.”
Champion, who competed in the Supersports round at Phillip Island last weekend, said he’s looking forward to the experience of competing at a Supercars event.
“I thoroughly enjoy The Bend, but racing in front of the Supercars audience will be something else – it will be the biggest event I’ve competed at,” he said.
“All the GWR drivers have been going very well lately, so hopefully we can bring home some more trophies for them.”
The normal Radical Cup format, two 50-minute (23 lap) races, will be used this weekend.
Radical Australia Cup – Round 5 Schedule
Friday, 23 August
8:30 – Practice 1 (20 min)
12:00 – Practice 2 (20 min)
16:55 – Qualifying (20 min)
Saturday, 24 August
16:40 – Race 1 (23 laps)
Sunday, 25 August
16:25 – Race 2 (23 laps)