Radical Australia Cup
Jul 30, 2012
MUSTON CLOSES TITLE FIGHT WITH THIRD SYDNEY WIN
NEALE MUSTON has told his rivals ‘I’ll see you in Queensland’ after winning the fourth round of the 2012 Radical Australia Cup at the weekend, at Sydney Motorsport Park.
Muston has now won each round at the Western Sydney circuit this year and though he didn’t win both races, has rocketed up the championship ladder despite missing round two at Phillip Island in May.
Muston’s round win was achieved with a win in race one of the weekend and fifth in race two.
The round results featured Glyn Edis and Simon Haggarty on the podium with Muston and that – coupled with a race two victory for the always competitive Tony Palmer in the second race – has dramatically changed the championship picture and forced Muston to change his approach to the remainder of the season.
He had intended to just contest the Sydney rounds, however his strong position now has him looking north to the fifth round of the season to be held at Queensland Raceway (August 13-15).
He admitted on the podium that he was keen to carry on his superb form.
“I’m getting a bit of a reputation as a one-trick pony, so I guess I’ll have to go to Queensland and see how we go there,” he grinned.
“Race one was fantastic but today’s (Sunday) race didn’t go quite as I had planned, but it’s good to win the round and it makes the championship very interesting.”
Muston won race one on Saturday, despite a late-race spin that dropped him down the order and behind then-leader Richard Bloomfield. Pushing hard, Muston caught and passed ‘Bloomie’ with six laps remaining to record the win.
His Sunday didn’t go quite to plan either, but despite a minor off he was able to salvage a fifth-place finish and enough points to seal the round win.
Palmer was the beneficiary, beating home Glyn Edis by just over two seconds in the race; Simon Haggarty edging out Andrew Macpherson for the final podium spot in a close finish for third.
The results mean Edis now assumes the title lead (the third driver to lead the standings in four rounds), but the Interior Developments driver has just a five-point lead over Muston, who in turn is only three points ahead of Palmer.
As well as those who finished on the podium overall, there were several standout performances across the weekend.
Nick Stavropoulos continued his good run of recent form by finishing third in race one behind Muston and Bloomfield, and in front of experienced campaigners Glyn Edis and Simon Haggarty. Meanwhile, a solid run to sixth in race two – backing up 10th in race one – helped elevate Peter Johnston into the top five series standings overall, in the PJS Air entry.
Oliver Smith led a majority of the second race, co-driving with Phil Anseline in the WT Partnership SR3 Cup Car – assuming the lead as several of the leaders pitted and remaining out on the circuit for as long as possible before executing their compulsory stop, eventually finishing 11th.
An otherwise tough weekend for the mother-son combination of Sue Hughes and Jon Collins looked like it was about to be redeemed mid-way through the second race, the pair bouncing back after a torrid Saturday – where they only completed 10 laps before a broken gear shift left them sidelined – to run as high as second.
Unfortunately further technical issues struck the #32 Hughes Motorsport entry mid-race, forcing them out.
Father and Son duo Tony and Simon Haggarty also enjoyed the weekend.
Tony won the Masters division at the weekend and also leads the overall Masters standings after four rounds; Whilst Simon elevated himself into the top four of the series outright championship positions with a pair of charging performances.
Starting 12th for race one, Haggarty moved to fifth at the flag. He then moved from seventh to third in race two and was arguably the hardest charger of the weekend.
The next round of the Radical Australia Cup will follow the Shannons Nationals to Queensland Raceway, for the series first look at the high-speed venue near Ipswich, West of Brisbane.
Round 5 will be held on August 13-15 and will again be broadcast live on the internet.
Round 4 of the championship will be showcased on SBS SPEEDWEEK and SPEED TV’s Inside Speed program in coming weeks.
For more information head to www.radicalaustralia.com.au
2012 RADICAL AUSTRALIA CUP
OUTRIGHT STANDINGS – After Round 4
1. Glyn Edis 242
2. Neale Muston 237
3. Tony Palmer 234
4. Simon Haggarty 196
5. Peter Johnston 146
RADICAL AUSTRALIA MASTERS CHAMPIONSHIP
1. Tony Haggarty 104
2. Richard Bloomfield 100
3. Andrew Macpherson 94