Brands Hatch, Kent – Sunday 20 May 2018; Steve Burgess continued his Radical Challenge winning streak with a hat-trick of race victories in the second round battles around the Brands Hatch GP circuit. The RAW Motorsports man nearly didn’t have it all his own way as Dominik Jackson came agonisingly close to taking his maiden career win whilst four different drivers occupied the rest of the podium throughout the three-race weekend.
Burgess began his winning ways with a satisfying third victory of his 2018 campaign on Saturday afternoon, in a race which saw nothing to choose between the top three championship protagonists.
Although Burgess led from pole, Jackson and Jérôme de Sadeleer refused to allow the 2016 Champion to gain any advantage, with the trio running equidistant just a few tenths of a second apart for much of the shortened 20-minute race. As the leading three pulled clear of the pack, the order remained unchanged until the final corner of the final lap when, in an attempt to secure second at the flag, de Sadeleer ran wide and ended his race in the Clearways tyre wall.
Continuing his strong qualifying performance, Marcello Marateotto led the fight for fourth, leaving him perfectly placed to pick up the final podium position. Brian Murphy and Kristian Jeffrey vied for fifth place, Jeffries eventually making a stellar move stick at Surtees on lap five.
With fierce battles up and down the 20-car field, Elliot Goodman pulled off a superb pass on Spencer Bourne into Paddock Hill Bend to take sixth with five minutes remaining. Behind them, a six-car battle for ninth came to a head at Druids on the penultimate tour, resulting in John Caudwell losing the Team class lead to Peter Tyler.
Jackson was denied his maiden Radical Challenge win on Sunday morning, despite leading from lights to flag. The RAW Motorsports charge was judged to have jumped the start, the resulting 10 second penalty dropping him to third, leaving Burgess to pick up win number two.
Whilst Jackson romped away at the lights, Burgess didn’t get the best of starts leaving the championship leader with it all to do heading into Paddock Hill Bend. Securing second, a jostling pack behind saw de Sadeleer take to the gravel but able to re-join at the back of the field. John Caudwell wasn’t so fortunate and with Brian Caudwell’s car beached across the inside kerb at Druids, an early safety car was required.
Clean away at the restart with 14 minutes remaining, Jackson led from Burgess and Marateotto. Unaware of Jackson’s impending penalty, Burgess was relentless in the pursuit of his teammate and threatened to send it up the inside on more than one occasion, but Jackson remained undeterred.
Marateotto crossed the line third on-track but moved up to the second step of the podium ahead of Jackson. Jeffrey, making his GP circuit debut, finished fourth despite also jumping the start. Brian Murphy mirrored his race one result to pick up points for fifth ahead of Spencer Bourne.
Starting from pole for the final 40-minute endurance race, Jackson threatened to once again spoil Burgess’ party. Running side-by-side from the rolling start and down the Brabham Straight, Jackson managed to seize the initiative at Paddock Hill Bend but Burgess remained glued to his rear bumper throughout the opening stint.
The gap ebbed and flowed as Burgess overheated his tyres and had to drop back and re-group before attacking once more, but an off-track moment from Jackson at Stirlings on lap 12 was all the invitation Burgess needed to surge through. Although Jackson recovered well, a lengthy pit stop meant Burgess sailed clear to the flag whilst Jackson took important points for fourth.
With the leading duo setting a blistering pace from the off, the intense battle for third between Murphy, Brian Caudwell, de Sadeleer, Jeffrey and Richard Baxter ran right to the pit stops. Caudwell came out on top and pushed on to pass Baxter the following tour to secure second.
Although Baxter finished third on the road, a penalty for speeding in the pit lane dropped him outside the top 10, gifting Jeffrey the final podium position.
Goodman was once again on form to finish fifth, having started from 12th on the grid, while Barry Liversidge notched up his best result of the season so far in sixth.
Peter Tyler and Tom Gladdis managed a clean sweep of Team class wins across the weekend, heading John Caudwell and Stuart Moseley in race three.
Steve Burgess (Winner all races): “That was a perfect weekend, pole and the three wins, it can’t get much better, can it? I think I had the legs on Dom (Jackson) by a fraction but it’s hard to pass here. I kept overheating the tyres following him too close so I kept backing off and going again and he then made a mistake out the back and I managed to get by.”
Brian Caudwell (Second race three): “It was excellent, it’s been a long time waiting. I’ve had a fairly tough year so far. I knew I was never going to win as Steve has a lot more pace on me, but I’m really happy. I look in the top ten now and there’s guys finishing in ninth, tenth, eleventh and they’re podium finishers. It’s fiercely contested at the minute.”
Dominik Jackson (Second race One, third race two): “There wasn’t much in it during race one, we were all setting nearly identical times. It was a shame in race two as I was rolling slightly and got a penalty. But I still managed to take third with the penalty so it’s not too bad considering.”
Marcello Marateotto (Third race one, second race two): “At my age you have to be happy if they let you start and if you finish on the podium then it’s an excellent weekend! I was able to watch the guys at the front fighting each other but I wasn’t able to challenge. I’ve still got some work to do on the car and myself.”
Kristian Jeffrey (Third race three): “It was a good weekend, considering I didn’t have the pace of the front runners. I’m happy to come out top five in all three races. You guys should be happy the Caribbean bought the weather! The team really worked hard on the car making me more comfortable throughout the weekend. We got better and better each race but it just wasn’t enough.”
http://www.sunocochallenge.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Brands_Hatch_GP_race_1_podium.jpg 2344 3520 Nick Portlock http://www.sunocochallenge.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/sunoco-challenge-logo-head.png Nick Portlock2018-05-21 11:22:492018-05-21 11:22:59Burgess Seals Brands Hatch Hat-Trick