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Drivers from 12 nations head to Portimao for Radical World Finals

Drivers and teams from five continents and 12 nations are descending on Portugal for the 2023 Radical World Finals, held between 16-22 October.

Bedford Autodrome - Sprite Photography- 2

The week-long competition can be considered a crescendo to the 12 Radical Cup series that takes place around the globe and is being held during the European Le Mans Series season finale at the Autodromo Internacional Algarve near the southern coastal city of Portimao.

After a successful inaugural event in Las Vegas last year, in which Daryl DeLeon, Toby Sowery and Patrick Liddy were crowned, the bright lights of Sin City have been replaced with the endless beaches of the Algarve.

Reflecting on the success of that first World Finals event, Radical’s global motorsport director Tom Drewer commented: “Our tagline, ‘We make racers’, rang true in Las Vegas. Not only with one of our champions, young-gun Daryl DeLeon – who was poached from the Radical ranks shortly thereafter for a British Touring Car ride – but, equally, with one of our runner-ups, and a man 30 years Daryl’s senior, Indy Al Miller, who proved it’s never too late to start living out your dreams and find success in this sport.

“This year’s field is another exciting mix of talent, both young and old, from all across the globe.”

Fresh from clinching the Platinum class title in the 2023 Blue Marble Radical Cup, former American Le Mans Series champion and two-time Le Mans 24 Hours starter Jon Field (DW Racing) leads a contingent of four American drivers, who will all be vying for the top step in the Platinum class for Radical SR10 machinery.

The others are Alan ‘Indy Al’ Miller (DW Racing), a professional jet ski racer come multiple Radical Cup North America champion, fellow DW Racing team-mate Gregg Gorski, who has taken victories in both Radical Cup and the Creventic 24H Series, and Jim Booth (Valour Racing), the 2017 Radical European Masters champion and man who nicknamed the 425bhp Radical SR10 ‘The Torque Monster’.

Looking to take the Platinum crown back to England will be young-gun Ben Caisley (DW Racing), who has stepped up to the SR10 after narrowly missing out on the 2022 SR1 and 2023 SR3 class titles in the Radical Cup UK, as will be perennial frontrunner Chris Preen (Valour Racing). Jersey’s John Harrison (DW Racing) returns to the Radical paddock and could be one to watch, given he took second at Portimao in the 2017 season.

A drone shot of the Radical SR3 XXR

A drone shot of the Radical SR3 XXR

Photo by: Radical Motorsport

Six Brits hope to take top honours in the PRO 1500 class, including two teens. Haydn Chance, 17, (Valour Racing) has just completed his first season with Radical after stepping up from Ginetta Junior, while fellow Valour driver and former ZIP Kart Young Gun and Fiesta Junior driver, Luke Hilton, has had just one taste of a Radical SR3 XXR and Hankook rubber, yet is convinced he’ll make a competitive debut at Portimao.

Equally, two veterans of the Radical paddock, Peter Tyler (DW Racing) and John MacLeod (RSR), hope to spray a bottle of Gusbourne on the podium. Macleod is no stranger to winning in Portugal, having clinched the Estoril round of the Radical European Masters back in 2018. RSR team-mate Mark Williams is also representing the UK, but expect him to be proudly wearing the Scottish flag on the wing endplates of his SR3 XXR. Another to settle into the latest generation SR3 is Rob Greenwood (Valour Racing), who started Radical racing as a rookie in an SR1 in 2022.

From mainland Europe, representing Poland is Jacek Zielonka (360 Racing), while Filip Svensson (Radical Sweden) and another former European Masters stalwart, Mikael Bern, will fly the flag for Sweden. Fellow Scandinavian driver, Erlend Olsen (Norway) has spent the past few years racing in the Porsche Carrera Cup prior to stepping into prototype racing with Radical and will be supported by Spanish dealer Marbella Motorsports.

The longest-running driver in the GulfSport Radical Cup, Amir Feyzulin (Track Time Racing) is in form coming into the World Finals, having defeated champion Alex Bukhantsov in the final race weekend of the Gulf 2022-23 season.

Representing China in the Radical World Finals will be Jack Yang (Valour) whose first taste of a race car came with Radical after buying his first SR3 from Radical New York, and competes in both the North America and UK series.

Matt Graham will be marking his 20th year racing Radicals by representing Canada at the World Finals, having raced Radicals across North America and Europe since 2003. Another to have Radical Cup North America starts to his name is Rahul Patel, who started his motorsport journey at Spring Mountain Country Club near Las Vegas, but now resides in Bermuda.

Finally, flying the Australian flag is Steve Campion (Garth Walden Racing), who after travelling further than anyone to make the race at Portimao, is looking forward to ticking off the only other thing on his bucket list aside from driving at Bathurst: racing in Europe.

The action will get under way with an exclusive trackday on Monday 16 October, before a sabbatical on Tuesday and Wednesday to soak up the surroundings and prepare for practice and qualifying to clinch pole on Thursday. Three heat races are then held on Friday and Saturday, whose combined results set the grid for the winner-takes-all final on Saturday. 

An awards banquet will take place following the ELMS race on Sunday, where each champion will receive a limited edition Omologato Portimao Chronograph watch.

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