Winterfest turns into a Radical-fest as SR3s and RXCs score multiple podiums, and the SR8 of Ari Straus wins outright.
A favorite pre-season event for club and professional teams and drivers alike, Winterfest turned into a Radical-fest with over a dozen cars representing the brand, numerous top ten finishes and five outright victories.

Not only were representatives from Radical UK, Radical North America and each of North America’s seven authorized dealers on hand as part of the first Radical Technical Academy, but Florida based teams Foreign Affairs and Drive For Success and well as privateer Cameron Kelts joined Virginia’s Wisko Race Engineering and Monticello Motor Club in fielding cars.

In total four different models took to the famed 3.74mile Sebring International Raceway including the new SR3 RSX, which immediately proved its pace. Piloted by British pro Nigel Greensall, the latest evolution of Radical’s popular model set a time two seconds faster (2:08.031) than Danyel Torres in the fastest old-generation SR3 (2:10.143) in the Friday night endurance race.

However it was the Monticello Motor Club SR8 of Ari Straus and Stevan McAleer that stole the show, winning the race after comfortably qualifying on pole with a 2:01.584. The Drive For Success duo of Harry Blazer and Chris Hall joined Straus and McAleer on the podium, finishing second in their RXC V8.

Giving Radical a total of five top-ten finishes from the 37 car field, the Wisko SR3 of Jim Booth and Danyel Torres finished seventh, followed by Jamaican Taj Alvaranga in a Drive For Success SR3 and the ninth placed Wisko SR3 RSX of Peter Strasser and Nigel Greensall.

Radical continued to dominate during the sprint races. Straus again put his SR8 on pole for Saturday’s first race while a pair of RXC V8s clinched the third row of the grid thanks to Blazer and Richard Granofsky. Tom Drewer and Chris Hall qualified eighth and ninth respectively in a pair of SR3s.

As Straus (SR8) led from start to finish to take his second win of the weekend, Blazer (RXC V8) mixed it up with the Porsche Cup cars to finish fourth. Hall (SR3) cleared traffic to finish fifth, while Drewer (SR3) wasn’t so lucky finishing tenth. Booth (SR3) finished fifteenth.

Race two saw a great start from Drewer, who tucked in behind Blazer in Turn 3, with Hall close behind. After Drewer and Hall drove side-by-side for nearly half a lap, Hall won out eventually finishing fifth, while Drewer cemented another top ten with ninth. Yet again though it was the yellow SR8 of Straus who took the checker, winning easily from the Porsche Cup car of Wayne Ducote and Blazer, who finished third.

Sunday again saw Drewer out-qualify Hall, the pair impressively placing their SR3’s third and fifth on the grid. Booth also qualified in the top ten with ninth. Absent from the session was Straus, who elected to start rear of field. Not that it had any effect. Straus stored through the field to take his fourth win of the weekend, bumping Drewer from third to fourth. Hall finished seventh and Booth in eleventh.

With the final race of the weekend came a clean sweep for Straus, who took his fifth win. However, Drewer’s drive was equally impressive. He finished an amazing second in his 1500cc SR3 after a last lap dash following the extended safety car period. As the race resumed Drewer dropped back to fifth as the higher horsepower cars accelerated, but a daring move around the outside of turn one put him in fourth, before another outside pass into turn three gave him third. A gap then instantly opened, allowing the SR3 pilot to steal second place away from Canadian Porsche Cup star Etienne Borgeat. Booth finished his weekend with another solid seventh place.


 

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