Multi-class success for DW Racing in Hagerty Radical Cup UK’s Donington opener

29 April 2024 | adminleveridge

DW Racing collected trophies across multiple classes during a rain-disrupted opening round of the 2024 Hagerty Radical Cup UK at Donington Park (27-28 April).

The season began on Saturday with Qualifying and a 30-minute race, and two more Radical contests were scheduled for Sunday until heavy and persistent rainfall saturated the historic East Midlands circuit.

Mercifully, the inclement weather eventually relented and a single Radical race was held as part of a severely condensed programme.

In Saturday’s curtain-raiser, Radical rookie Sam Shaw raced to the top step of the SR1 podium on debut, and he returned to the winners’ rostrum in the rain-delayed second race.  

In the headlining SR3 division, Peter Tyler rounded-out the weekend on the Fangio podium, while young teammate Oscar Joyce was mired by misfortune and finished both races disappointed in the lower reaches of the top ten.

Darren Winter: “DW Racing came into the opening round of the 2024 Hagerty Radical Cup UK with great expectations and hopes of decent results with Oscar (Joyce), Peter (Tyler) and Sam (Shaw). As always, a lot of hard work went into adapting the cars to the conditions to great avail, although we came into Sunday believing we would race twice and ended up in an “all or nothing” situation due to the torrential rain that saturated Donington Park all morning.

“All three drivers qualified well, but we also had race pace and Sam utilised that exceptionally well against more experienced competitors to get pole, a win and a P2 on debut in a remarkable performance that sets him up for a stellar season, as he sits at the top of the championship.”

Winter continued: “Oscar got a little boxed-in at the start of race one but significantly improved his launch in the second race, so it was unfortunate that he then lost out while avoiding an incident because we hoped for better results.

“Peter also showed great pace and he has had a fantastic start to the 2024 season. In fact, it was a strong performance by all involved with DW Racing. We’re undoubtedly one of the strongest Radical teams, we’re presenting well and we even made the best of the extreme rainfall by enjoying the company of many of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship’s fans who braved the conditions. I revelled in the interaction and seeing them enjoy our hospitality. On the whole, I’m relieved to have completed the first race weekend of the season on a strong footing, with plenty to build on at Snetterton.”

Sam Shaw

A replacement chassis was introduced in Qualifying after DW Racing discovered a fracture in Shaw’s original tub during Thursday (25 April) testing.

Mercifully, with no track sessions scheduled for Friday, the Huntingdon-based team used the extended interval to complete a full rebuild, and Shaw repaid his dogged crew by nabbing the first pole position of 2024 on his Radical Cup UK debut.

Shaw stood his ground in P1 away from the rolling start, initially staving off the hard-charging #2 Radical Works EVO machine of James Taylor and edging out an advantage and, while he ultimately lost track position to the Invitational class driver, he still accrued maiden SR1 and Rookie wins.

From P2 on the race two grid, he made light work of passing Taylor before the Safety Car intervened at the end of lap two.

At the resumption of racing, positions were traded with the #11 machine of fellow karting graduate Marcus Littlewood, but a five-second penalty for track limits infringements resigned Shaw to points for P2, which put him top of the SR1 standings.

“To secure pole position, achieve a maiden win in my first ever Hagerty Radical Cup UK race and then lead on the road the second time round means I can be very pleased with the weekend at Donington Park,” said Shaw. “We were well prepared as a team, we knew our pace was good and I was delighted to go P1 in Qualifying, having strung everything together brilliantly.

“To convert pole into victory was obviously the perfect way to start the season and, while I’m a little disappointed to have received a penalty in the last race, it has been a very successful weekend and we have good momentum to carry into the next round at Snetterton,”

Peter Tyler

Optimising the #80 SR3 XXR’s setup proved difficult and Tyler wrestled a loose rear-end for much of Thursday testing, but DW Racing provided a configuration that inspired confidence in time for Saturday’s all-important Qualifying.

The multi-class traffic proved problematic, though, as Tyler was compromised on his best lap and ended the 30-minute session frustrated in 11th overall and fifth in the Fangio class, knowing a small improvement would have lifted him several places.

However, he breached the top ten overall on the opening lap of the first Radical Cup UK race of 2024 and, despite becoming detached from the leaders with increasing pressure from the Invitational #99 Radical Factory car, he still finished fourth in the Fangio sub-class.

In race two, cars littered Donington Park’s gravel traps after an incident-filled start, but the cool-headed Tyler elevated to sixth overall and third in Fangio in the melee, before the Safety Car inevitably appeared.

The Sussex-based driver had Valour Racing’s Chris Preen for company in the latter stages and balance issues left him with no answer to the #3 entry, which slipped past on the 15th run through Coppice, Tyler coming home sixth outright and third in the Fangio classification.

“I’m very happy to have finished third in the SR3 Fangio classification and it was a nice way to end a good weekend in the Hagerty Radical Cup UK,” said Tyler. “We were all dealt a very unfortunate hand with the weather, which resulted in cancelled or shortened programmes for everybody. Sunday was a long day due to the conditions so it was nice to actually get out on-track and to take something from it. I’d rather have the golden trophy for first place, but I really like the colouring of the copper and I go home happy.”

Oscar Joyce

For Joyce, the Radical Cup UK curtain-raiser at Donington Park was a frustrating affair, but his own pace and performances mean DW Racing is hopeful moving deeper into his maiden SR3 season.

Fourth overall and third in SR3 after being overhauled by the #23 360 Competition of Jason Rishover away from the start of race one, the Richmond, London racer remained hot on the heels of the third-placed #82 Valour Racing of Kristian Brookes and temporarily extinguished any threat from behind.

However, an uncooperative lapped car caused a delay, and a wayward moment at Redgate corner cost him three places and left him disappointed in a distant seventh at the chequered flag.

The starting order for race two was determined by drivers’ second-fastest Qualifying times, therefore Joyce shared row four of the grid with DW Racing stablemate Tyler.

Joyce initially made headway from seventh to sixth but tumbled back down to the outskirts of the top ten while avoiding a spinning opponent further around the opening lap at the Old Hairpin.

The Safety Car intervened with a handful of cars beached in the gravel, bunching up the pack, but Joyce could only lift himself to seventh in the remaining laps and was frustrated to have gone without an opportunity to unleash his true pace and potential in the East Midlands.

“The pace we’ve shown is promising for the remainder of the 2024 Hagerty Radical Cup UK season,” said Joyce. I have to remember that there’s still a long way to go and, if we get all of our bad luck out of the way early, we will be fine. Latching on to the positives, DW Racing and I are among the fastest out there when we string everything together and I know we will be in the hunt for podiums or maybe even race wins if things go our way. We’ll go again at Snetterton next month and I’m already looking forward to it.”