The Radical World Of 2006
Autosport International nearly a month ago turned out to be too busy to snatch more than a few minutes with Radical’s Mick Hyde – so here we are in early February, catching up with all the developments, some of which have fallen into place since the NEC.“One thing we did finalise at the Show was our supporting race at the Le Mans Series meeting at Donington Park in August,” comments Mick Hyde (left). “In an ideal world, we would have been supporting the whole Le Mans Series, but the dates we had in place anyway made that too complicated.

But the Donington race fits in very well with the ‘stepping stone to Le Mans’ that we’re developing.”

The new SRP LMP2 car also fits in well, as this burgeoning company grows and expands.

The European calendar for Radical series gets bigger and better by the year. 2006 sees six series on the agenda: the Dunlop Radical Biduro / Enduro Championships (at the Dunlop Great & British meetings), the Matador Powertec Radical Challenge, the Radical Celtic Cup, the Swedish Radical Cup and – both new for this year, as are the Celtic Cup and Matador Challenge - the Radical German RaceCup and the Radical Challenge Portugal.

But there’s more: “The national series come together at the end of the season to form the Radical World Cup – with races at Donington (in August, the LMS meeting), Spa in early October and Estoril in mid November.”

These meetings will feature 60 minutes of practice, 30 minutes of qualifying and two 100km races.

The thinking here is that until now it’s been hard to justify rounds of UK national championships on the European continent: “You tend to get two-thirds of a normal grid, say 16 cars instead of 24 – except at Spa. The teams always want to go to Spa. But when there’s a national series, such as our new one in Portugal, when the British (and other teams) arrive, you’ve got a very healthy grid.”

The World Cup idea will grow further in 2007 – because Radical is planning a national series in Italy, so that paves the way for a World Cup race at Monza, while the German series this year should develop with a world series race at the Nurburgring in ’07.

“People want to race in warm climates at the end of the season,” explains Mick Hyde. “As winter descends on northern Europe, why not head south and carry on racing? We’ll have events open to all five types of Radical – Clubsports, Prosports, SR3s, SR4s and SR8s.

The Celtic Cup racers – events at Knockhill (3), Kirkistown, Mondello Park and Croft – will also be heading to the Nurburgring anyway this year. This series should start off “with about 16 entries”.

Mick Hyde reports “huge interest” in the Matador Powertec Radical Challenge (events at Brands Hatch, Croft, Anglesey, Pembrey, Mallory Park, Snetterton and Spa - the cars running on durable Matador tyres). “It’s appealing to those who don’t want to take their racing too seriously.” Low cost is the motto here.

Hyde is also bubbling with the prospect of the Dunlop Great & British package being covered on both SKY Sports and Motors TV.

And then there’s North America. The 1500 SR3s, 1300 SR4s and Prosport Radicals are all eligible for the new IMSA Lites series - where they'll race against the Elan van Diemens and Wests.

"One of the things missing in our lineup of series was a place where people who were interested in racing prototype-style cars could race with us in a professional environment and in front of the kinds of crowds we attract with the American Le Mans Series," explained IMSA COO Tim Mayer. "One of our missions is to develop future drivers, teams and fans for the American Le Mans Series."

There’s that stepping stone again.

The IMSA Lites join the ALMS at four venues this year: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lime Rock Park, Road America and Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.

“The IMSA Lites cars are also eligible for C Sport and D Sport in the SCCA,” continues Mick Hyde, “so there’s that stepping stone again.”

The top step, shortly, will be the SRP LMP2 car, and enquiries have arrived from potential entrants in North America, but “everyone’s waiting to see how the car goes.”“What’s happening in America is in parallel to what we’re doing in Europe,” concludes Mick Hyde. “Once IMSA Lites gets going, we can push harder in the states.”

Meanwhile, the first event of the Radical year takes place very soon: the Brands Hatch Media Trackday, on February 24.

Three hours of track time will be available between 10am and 1pm, with Dunlop and Café Dunlop present. The media will also be in attendance, with opportunities available for rides around the track.


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