Team Bruichladdich Radical has secured its first podium finish after Tim Greaves, Stuart Moseley and Robin Liddell clinched third place in the LMP2 class at Valencia.
The trio were looking to bounce back from a disappointing retirement with the Radical SR9 in Monza to kick-start their campaign, and looked set for class victory at points during the six hour race, before eventually settling for a place of the third step of the podium in ninth overall.
Liddell took the start for the team and spent the first two hours in the car, maintaining a place inside the top four of the class before he pitted to hand the car over to Greaves in fourth place.
Greaves' stint was interrupted by a Safety Car period, so an early pit stop for fuel and tyres was taken. Shortly after that, the LMP2 leading Barazi Zytek pitted for a black and orange flag putting the Radical into second place. When the class leader was then given a stop and go penalty, Greaves took the lead which he held before pitting to hand the car to Moseley.
A long stop meant the car got back on track in third and over one lap behind the Saulnier Racing Courage but Moseley battled back into second place before the order was shuffled again by the pit-stops.
With Liddell back in the car, the Radical battled back into second place but contact with one of the GT2 Panoz resulted in damaged steering – with Liddell limping round the final four laps to flag – slipping down to third in the process.
“I overtook the ASM Lola at the start but didn't have enough grip to be able to hold position because of the slow green flag lap,” Liddell said of his time behind the wheel. “Then it was a case of holding station with ASM. We opted to stay on the tyres for the first stop which worked in that we came out ahead of the Barazi Zytek but then we suffered towards the end of my stint. It was so easy to make a mistake out there as you could see from other cars spinning so I accepted what I had and drove to the grip level. It was frustrating only being able to drive at 90 per cent but driving sensibly worked.
“When I got back in I knew we had a chance but really had to get my head down for the last push. With a gap of 14 seconds it was possible but in the end the Panoz put paid to that. After all of that it was a great result and hopefully we'll do even better next time.”
The team also used the Valencia weekend to confirm that the three drivers will be at the wheel of the Radical for the Le Mans 24 Hours, with team owner Greaves admitting that he saw no reason to break up the successful partnership.
“It's great to be on the podium for the first time,” he said. “The champagne tastes really sweet! Everyone's worked incredibly hard for the result and to be robbed of second place on the last lap was exceedingly painful. But this is the first step on the podium and we have many more to look forward to now that the gremlins have departed us.
“The car performed exceptionally well throughout the race and Stuart and Robin both put in great times in the chase for 'P1'. Having finished strongly after six hours we're confident of the performance of the car for Le Mans. Having shown how well we can work as a team I'm also very pleased to announce that we'll keep this line-up for the Le Mans 24 Hours next month.”