Media Release: Ellis – Encouraging First Radical Rounds
Hinckley, Leicestershire – Sunday, April 17, 2011; Bradley Ellis started his 2011 racing season with impressive form in the opening Dunlop Radical UK Cup rounds at the new Silverstone Arena GP circuit on Sunday, April 17.
Returning to race in the popular one-make series for the first time in four years, Ellis made his mark with a 10-place charge to record a top 10 Supersports finish in round one and was battling for the class lead in round two when a puncture ruined his race chances. Partnering Andy Cummings in the Supreme Racing entry for the first time this season, the new pairing were realistic about their chances, especially against a bumper 47-car field which included experienced European entrants who travelled to the Northamptonshire circuit especially for the race weekend. With 28 Radical SR3 contenders in the Supersports class, the duo immediately impressed with Cummings clocking in 15th fastest in class in his first ever qualifying session and Ellis proving his Pro status with fourth quickest in the category. Cummings made a solid start on his Radical UK Cup debut and did well to hold his own against vastly more experienced drivers while running on well worn tyres that had taken both Supreme Racing drivers through their qualifying sessions. Having out qualified some of the SR8 drivers, those cars naturally came back through the field under race conditions. Although Cummings consequently dropped overall position his efforts around the new Silverstone Arena circuit secured 16th in class before pitting halfway through the 40-minute enduro. Ellis joined the action in 34th place having lost overall and class position due to the regulatory 15-second extended stop he had to serve as a Pro (professional) racer. Regardless, the 23 year-old quickly got to grips with the new 3.6605 mile circuit to push the Supreme Racing Radical SR3 and take six places on his first racing lap (12). He continued his charge through the Supersports field, recording some of the quickest times in the category to climb up to 12th in class the following lap. On lap 16, Ellis broke into the top 10 class runners despite experiencing heavy traffic passing some SR8 backmarkers and nursing increasingly worn tyres. Rapidly closing on ninth in class at a rate of 1.5 seconds a lap, with just two laps remaining Ellis ran out of time to make further progress but an impressive tally of 10 places in nine laps opened his 2011 racing account in style. Equipped with new rubber for race two, Ellis expected a challenging first few laps on the un-scrubbed set but the seasoned sportscar star didn’t anticipate a puncture ruining his race chances. A brilliant start ensured the British GT Champion was embroiled in a four-way battle for the Supersports lead in race two. The quartet of Ellis, Stuart Moseley, Rob Wheldon and Anthony Dunn swapped places throughout the opening lap until Ellis lost ground on his un-scrubbed tyres. Despite running wide at Brooklands, he held off Dunn’s advances to retain third in class and 19th overall - an improvement of five outright places on his start position. Poor luck struck on lap three when a piece of debris hit the Supreme SR3’s front right tyre valve causing a slow puncture, forcing Ellis to pit two laps later. Rejoining the fray down in 37th place (19th in class) he set about a notable recovery charge to reclaim seven places in six laps, finishing his stint 30th overall and 14th in class while contending with handling difficulties in the closing stages. Cummings then rose to the challenge just after the 20 minute mark, joining the race 14th after once again serving a prolonged pit stop. The car’s handling problem intensified as the race wore on, but Cummings coped immensely well to limit places lost in the fierce midfield melee to bring the car home 16th in class. “Overall it’s been an encouraging weekend,” said Ellis. “We made steady progress in race one and a top 10 finish against such a strong field of experienced Radical racers is really respectable. Particularly as it was also Andy’s first ever Radical round and the start of our racing partnership. “Although we experienced some problems in the second round, we both had a good race and did well to record a result. It was really unfortunate to pick up the puncture as I was battling at the front of the Supersports field and Andy did a great job of coping with the tracking problems in the latter stages. Without those issues we could have been in for a top five finish. “I’m really impressed with Andy’s efforts at his first major race meeting. He knew what he had to do today and he’s delivered. He’s got some vital race experience under his belt and he can continue to draw on the potential he has shown in testing to perfect his race performance. “The Supreme Racing crew did a great job to pull together a good race package this weekend. Now we can concentrate on developing the car's race condition ready for the next round at Spa Francorchamps.” For full race results visit www.radicalsportscars.com and www.tsl-timing.com -Ends- Media Contact Emma Spearing, Hazel PR: Mobile: +44 (0)7736 341828 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org