DW Racing storms to Radical SR1 hat-trick and Fangio win at Snetterton

27 May 2024 | adminleveridge

DW Racing thundered to four race wins and four podium finishes in Round 2 of the Hagerty Radical Cup UK at a stormy Snetterton (25-26 May).

Sam Shaw was lightning quick and completed a hat-trick of SR1 victories during a rain-affected weekend in East Anglia, where Oscar Joyce broke his SR3 podiums duck and Peter Tyler produced a Herculean run to victory in the SR3 Fangio class.

Darren Winter: “Round 2 of the 2024 Hagerty Radical Cup UK at Snetterton yielded a mixed bag of results that aren’t truly reflective of DW Racing team members’ input and the drivers’ efforts. Having said that, we’re quite happy. Sam (Shaw) did really well to win three of four races and, while we don’t like to see our competition failing to finish, we will take the advantage in the championship, just in case we’re struck by misfortune later in the season.

“I’m really pleased with Peter Tyler’s performance in Race 3 because it shows he still has what it takes to win. Oscar (Joyce), meanwhile, was a bit unlucky with respect to the Safety Car and weather, but he’s still learning the Radical SR3 XXR and needs time to adjust to the car at all circuits and in all conditions, so it was great to see him reach the podium.

“We let ourselves down with some tyre calls, but hindsight is a wonderful thing and the ever-changing weather made it a complete lottery in some instances. We’ll obviously learn from each experience and won’t be caught out moving forwards to Oulton Park and beyond.”

Sam Shaw

Sam Shaw was P1 with a four tenths margin over fellow rookie Marcus Littlewood – his main challenger in the Donington Park season-opener – in the FP1 times, and he was confident he had plenty more to give.

Rain came and went during Radical Cup UK Qualifying the following morning (Saturday 25 May), but Shaw set the early pace and was atop the SR1 classification when he skated off the road at Riches corner and caused the first of two red flag stoppages.

Mercifully, the Fareham driver rejoined the truncated session, finding improvements to lock in third position on the grid.

However, an extra Radical race was first on the schedule as compensation for the one that was lost at a rain-battered Donington Park in April.

Poleman Shaw led from the front, keeping chief opponent Littlewood at arm’s length for the duration, despite losing tyre pressure and grip after a Safety Car, to seal his second victory of his rookie 2024 season.

Positions were reversed when Radicals returned to the circuit later that afternoon, though, as Shaw pushed Littlewood hard during the early laps but gradually lost touch and came home second to his foe.

The 19-year-old started Sunday’s (26 May) first race from the front row of an amended SR1 grid that was ultimately determined by the second fastest qualifying times.

On a damp track, the DW Racing driver was demoted to third by Littlewood, who later ground to a halt, and he was then elevated to P1 when Ryan Lindsay in the Invitational entry boxed from the lead during the dying embers of the 25-minute race.

But then came his most dominant display to date, as he checked out once he had completed a pass on the #87 RSR with lap times comparable to those from the headlining SR3 class, completing a hat-trick of victories at Snetterton in a lofty P6 overall.

“I’m really happy with my Hagerty Radical Cup UK Snetterton weekend, having taken three wins from four races,” said Shaw. “We struggled a little in the sole dry race, which was disappointing, but we were really quick when conditions were mixed. There’s clearly a bit of work to do with our dry-weather pace, but I’m delighted with the overall performance and the championship points haul.”

Peter Tyler

Peter Tyler’s pace was initially compromised by back pain, but DW Racing fit him for a new seat and his lap times fell to keep him in the mix in the SR3 Fangio sub-class.

In fact, Tyler quickly found his groove in Saturday’s rain-affected Qualifying session, as he led the DW Racing charge from sixth overall, although he was a full second quicker on his final flying lap, curtailed by a red flag.

Nevertheless, Tyler would start the first of four Radical contests – the reversed grid race that was rained off during the Donington Park season-opener – from pole position.

Another rain shower dissipated moments before the start but the track remained wet and, on the more slippery inside line, DW Racing stablemate Oscar Joyce and the #32 Valour Racing swept on by.

Sussex-domiciled Tyler still headed Fangio when the Safety Car intervened, but grip fell away along with his tyre pressures and he was consequently shuffled down to third by both the #3 Valour Racing and #14 RSR machines before the finish.

Later on Saturday afternoon, Tyler lost positions in a conservative run through Turn 1 and ultimately took a P5 result away from a race that featured contact, as well as dogfights with the #25 RSR and #99 Radical Factory entries.

However, the field was presented with a damp track on Sunday (26 May) and used grooved tyres were subsequently fitted to the DW Racing-prepared #80 Radical SR3 XXR.

From eighth in the revised starting order, established by the second quickest times from Qualifying, Tyler rose two places while narrowly avoiding a mid-pack spin at Riches corner but was overhauled by DW Racing’s Joyce and the #99 soon after an early Safety Car.

Later, though, he found an extra gear and his used Hankooks came into their own, as he surged up the leaderboard at the expense of all those who had chosen to run new wet tyres.

A well-timed lunge on the #14 at Agostini and a neatly executed overtake on the #3 out of the final corner were the highlights of a spectacular run to P3 overall and the Fangio win.

Unfortunately, that same tyre choice proved ineffective in the fourth and final reversed grid race of the weekend, which was delayed by an intense thunder storm, but it was actually an unscheduled pit stop to connect his running lights that took him off the Fangio podium and down to eighth in SR3.

“The Hagerty Radical Cup UK Snetterton round has been full of highs and lows,” said Tyler. “I’m thrilled with my SR3 Fangio win and overall podium because our tyre strategy was on point and it shows what we can achieve when the car is working well.

“The weather played a big part and we didn’t get it right in the fourth and final race, when pretty much everybody said it was like driving on ice. You had to tiptoe around every turn, but we held third in Fangio until I pitted after being shown the mechanical warning flag because my driving lights hadn’t been connected. We win as a team, we lose as a team, and we move on to Oulton Park in good spirits.“

Oscar Joyce

For Oscar Joyce, a minor anti-roll bar issue that created a confidence-denting imbalance in FP1 was resolved for second practice and Qualifying, but uncooperative rivals and a red flag on what would have been his best lap prevented him from unleashing his true pace, and he languished out of position in eighth overall.

However, the Snetterton weekend proceeded with the reversed grid race that was originally scheduled for April’s Donington Park curtain-raiser, and it was an all-DW Racing front row, with Peter Tyler on pole and Joyce alongside him.

Both were leapfrogged by the #32 and #20 Valour Racing cars moments after the start, but the latter served a drive-through penalty after an early Safety Car and Joyce came home in P2 overall, happy to have finally experienced some good fortune.

In Saturday’s afternoon race, the London driver overcame the #3 and #21 Valour entries, but he remained P5 to the flag, his forward momentum frustrated by the #14 RSR, which also proved to be a rolling roadblock the following morning.

Sunday began with a controversial decision to amend the grid for the penultimate race of the weekend; as per the original regulations, the starting order was based on the second-best qualifying times, and so Joyce was demoted from fourth to seventh.

He did well to avoid a mid-pack spinner at Turn 1, clearing teammate Tyler on the first racing lap after a Safety Car, except his fresh treaded tyres left him powerless to attack or defend against those who had opted for used wets, and he went backwards to P7.

A mid-afternoon thunder storm saturated Snetterton and tyre choice for the fourth and final Radical race was once again a complete lottery.

Used grooved Hankooks were selected but were evidently unsuitable for the conditions and Joyce floundered on the edge of the top five, completing an educational weekend with his Radical SR3 XXR.

“On the whole, Round 2 of the 2024 Hagerty Radical Cup UK has been a mixed bag, both on and off the track,” said Joyce. “There are definitely areas both me and DW Racing need to work on, but we tried to make the most of every racing situation and I’m happy to come away from Snetterton with a podium finish to my credit. We’ll go again at Oulton Park next month, and I’m praying for some clean, dry running.”