Published on April 13th, 2017 | by Amirul Mukminin0
Paddon Continues Winning Streak With a Radical Double at Sandown
Even mother nature couldn’t prevent the Paddon-express from continuing the winning streak at Sandown for round two of the Radical Australia Cup, the two-time champion unstoppable despite Melbourne’s wildly unpredictable autumn weather.
Despite the intermittent heavy rain and challenges from the new Radical SR3RSX which had already proven at Bathurst to be a faster prospect in a straight line – a prospect those teams were looking forward to on Sandown’s two long drag-strip straights – Paddon overcame the odds to add two more wins to his 2017 tally, making the reigning champion undefeated this year two rounds into the five round season.
Kim Burke in his upgraded 2015 RSX set the pace in the opening practice session, the Sydney-sider followed by David Crampton in his brand-new 2017 RSX and Oliver Smith (2017 RSX), in fact the top six suggested that Paddon would have his work cut out for him, with Tony Haggarty and Rowan Ross making it five new 2017 long-stroke powered SR3s in the top six.
Sharing the car once again with Michael Whiting, Radical Australia driver coach James Winslow set a stunning pace in P2 with Burke continuing to lead for the series regulars, his time impressive considering another Radical driver coach in part-time V8 Supercar driver Karl Reindler was third!
In final practice Reindler went better again to top the session in Greg Smith’s SR3RS – the series veteran sadly forced out due to illness – whilst Kim Burke continued to impress, as did series rookie Peter Clare who claimed fourth behind Oliver Smith.
By opening qualifying Peter Paddon arrived at the circuit after being delayed on Friday in Sydney, his best time putting him second, but he – like the remainder of the field – could do nothing but watch in awe as part-time prototype star James Winslow smashed the standing lap record for an SR3 at Sandown, with a best of 1:11.8149.
Kim Burke and Oliver Smith made up row two behind Paddon and Winslow, whilst David Crampton and Simon Haggarty completed row three.
For qualifying two [which sets the grid for the second of the 50-minute races] Kim Burke deservedly took the top spot, seven tenths faster than points leader Paddon suggesting that the new car was going to present the reigning champion with plenty of challenges.. Paddon’s nearest title rival Oliver Smith was next ahead of Crampton who was continuing to improve in the new car, with Rowan Ross and the impressive Peter Clare close behind.