Ruling ends Radical’s pole position clinching run at Thunderhill.
A harsh interpretation of the rulebook has ended a giant killing performance by the One Motorsports Radical SR3 at the 2015 NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill. Sean Rayhall surprised all by beating the favored Ginetta LMP3 to the pole for the 13th running of the Californian classic.

Rayhall’s lap of 1:40.275 in the 1.5-litre Radical SR3 was two hundreds of a second faster than the 5-litre V8 powered Ginetta driven by fellow Weathertech Sportscar Championship star Colin Braun, and also entered in the ESR class.

The SR3 co-driven by John Falb, Todd Slusher and Jeff Shafer continued to prove its might during the race lapping substantially faster in both wet and dry conditions than the eventual outright winner, an Audi R8 LMS fielded by former American Le Mans Series champions Flying Lizard Motorsports.

After surviving a number of bumps as well as a stint behind the wall, the SR3 was looking set for a strong result until the team was deemed to make a pitstop infraction.

“We broke an air hose during a stop startling another team, resulting in one of their crew members breaking his ankle when another fell on him,” explained One Motorsports Team Principal Jeff Shafer.

“That was deemed to breach rule 7.7 resulting in instant disqualification, which is probably a harsh interpretation given the situation was a genuine accident, and a bit of a chain reaction. Our thoughts are with the injured crewman and all of us at One Motorsport wish him a speedy recovery. It’s not the way any of us wanted the event to end– it was heart breaking given a podium looked well within reach.

“Qualifying was definitely the highlight. We outgunned what everyone thought would be the top performing car with a car that costs a fraction of the price.

“We took a Radical SR3 with a sealed, stock Radical 1500 engine and running Dunlop’s Radical tire, modified only with an endurance fuel tank and upgraded with a factory SR8 Carbon brake kit, and proved it can match the latest LMP3 machinery.

“The SR3 is just so well suited to the challenge of Thunderhill. Its narrow track makes light work of traffic– we can create gaps where others can’t– and it’s amazingly robust. The Radical continually punches above its weight in this race.”

One Motorsports finished runner up in the ESR class in 2014 with Jesse Menczer, John Falb, Todd Slusher and Sean Rayhall behind the wheel. Radical’s most recent success at the Thunderhill 25 Hour came in 2013 when the SR3 of Randy Carpenter, Ryan Carpenter, Todd Slusher, Tony Bullock and Scott Atchison won in ESR.

As well as being eligible for NASA sprint and endurance racing the Radical SR3, including the latest generation SR3 RSX, is also homologated for the SCCA’s P2 class making it one of the most versatile sports racers available in North America.


 

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