The Radical Australia Cup (RAC) reaches its midway point this weekend at the Shannons Nationals’ visit to Sydney Motorsport Park with a lot riding on the result.
A healthy field of 20 drivers will do battle across two 50 minute races on the Eastern Creek track with a number of title contenders in the running for the round’s bragging rights.
Headlining the list of drivers is 2017 champion Peter Paddon, who has returned to the series in style and currently occupies the top of the standings after picking up the round win the last time they met.
Since 2015, Paddon has had a stronghold over the rest of the competition at the New South Wales circuit, claiming seven wins, including two consecutive wins a couple of months ago.
While Paddon is no doubt re-living his title-winning form from 2017, The New-South-Welshman will face some serious challenges this weekend through the likes of Brad and Mitch Neilson and 2018 RAC runner-up Chris Perini.
The Neilsons currently sit in second spot after taking out the season opener, while Perini has had a disappointing start to the season despite sitting only 15 points behind the Neilsons.
Perini will be keen to get maximum points this weekend, with the driver himself aware of the result.
“This weekend is crucial. It’s do or die,” Perini said.
“It’s not over until it’s over and even though being in third is not ideal, we need to execute this weekend and we need a good result.”
Another driver looking to use the Shannons Nationals’ round to make an impact is Kostinken Pohorukov, who has been registered for both of the category’s opening rounds in 2019 but is yet to accumulate any points.
Former series regular and Sydney Motorsport Park podium placer Oliver Smith will join Phil Anseline in the WT Partnership-liveried SR3RSX, adding some more spice into the round victory fight.
A number of local drivers will also enter the frame this weekend looking to cause an upset with NSW SuperSports Series leaders Stephen Champion and Paul Braico to join fellow state hopefuls Rowan Ross and Peter Clare, who currently sits in outright fifth.
Just below Clare in the standings are Bill Medland and Chris Medland, with the drivers sitting in sixth and seventh respectively. Teaming up with his son Max Medland, Chris has a wealth of experience at Sydney Motorsport Park and will be looking to cause some headaches for Paddon and the top three.
Adding a bit of international flavour to the round is American expat Jim Hernandez who returns to the circuit for just the second round in his short career. The rookie had a brilliant debut to life in the Radical, picking up the same amount of points as the Medlands to jump inside the top 15.
Rounding out the entry list are Michael Whiting, Simon Meade and Greg Kenny, as well as South Australian Brenton Griguol who returns to the RAC after steering his SR3RSX to a Bathurst podium.
The RAC will have two practice sessions on Friday, before Saturday’s morning Qualifying session sets up the first race on Saturday afternoon. The second and final race of the weekend will take place on Sunday morning.
Fans unable to attend Sydney Motorsport Park for the first round of the Shannons Nationals can watch every minute live free through the live stream on thenationals.com.au.