Former WRC champion Colin McRae enjoyed a 'Radical' weekend of racing at Donington Park after taking his place on the grid for the Radical World Cup – a support race for the 1000km of Donington.
Having recently purchased a Radical SR3 for the road, the Scot was keen to experience a racing Radical and was invited to take part in the two races and attend the weekend as a guest of the Bruichladdich team.
“I bought a road car and just after that Radical called and asked if I'd be interested in racing the SR8,” McRae said. “At that time I didn't know anything about Radical racing so I thought – yeah let's do it and see how it goes. I'll probably take my road car to Majorca for a bit of fun. I got it because it's very radical. There's no other road car you can buy that's as radical as the Radical.
“I think the SR8 car itself is the most fun car I've driven. It feels really fast, the brakes are really brakes and you really feel the 'G' in the corners even more so than the 550 Maranello [Ferrari that Colin raced at Le Mans]. I think they're quite similar in pace but this just feels like a real race car and you get a real sensation of speed so it's a great fun car to drive.”
Qualifying was a frantic affair and, despite taking provisional pole at one stage, McRae ended the session in sixth place on the grid.
When race one got underway, McRae made a demon start to jump up to second behind Phil Quaife, taking the lead on lap 15 before an electrical problem forced him to retire.
“I made a good start, and made places down the inside,” he said after the first race. “I followed Phil for a while, then I think he had a problem as I was much quicker. After that I started to get a misfire, and pitted twice but it was still happening and there was no point carrying on. I really enjoyed the first half of the race and I'm hoping we can sort out the problem for tomorrow's race.”
In the second race, McRae was again running near the front but further problems dropped him down the order before he battled back to claim eleventh – bringing an enjoyable weekend to a close.
“I got a very good start again – running second comfortably and just waiting to see what happened,” he said. “Andy Demitriou's engine blew right in front of me and covered my helmet and the track in oil which made it interesting. It was all going well until the pit stop and the car wouldn't re-start. I was in about 17th when I rejoined and managed to make it back up to eleventh by the end of the race.
“I've really enjoyed the weekend. It was a shame about the gremlins – it would have been good to have had a couple of wins. It was great fun and quite surprising to be so competitive in a one make series – maybe they gave me a car with a bigger engine! What I'd really like next is to get my hands on the Radical SR9 Le Mans Series car!”