Press Release: Narra- Radical Cup Rounds 3 & 4

Press Release: Narra- Radical Cup Rounds 3 & 4

Watzinger strikes again in Radical Cup, Kurtz for the first time in Atlanta.

Gerhard Watzinger has extended his winning streak to four from four in the SR8 class at Road Atlanta during Rounds 3 & 4 of the 2013 Radical Cup. His teammate George Kurtz won both races in the SR3 class to give their Lotus-esque black and gold CrowdStrike cars a clean sweep, while series debutants Ari Straus and Jim Booth both impressed and Tony Bullock took over the SR3 title lead.

An amazing atmosphere surrounded the second Radical Cup event. The series joined the North American Road Racing Association's other headline acts, the US GT Championship, SRT Viper Cup and Whelen TimeTrial Championship at the famous Georgia track for three days of nonstop action. Spectators, a number of car clubs as well as famous faces including Randy Pobst (WC / K-Pax Racing), Kuno Wittmer (ALMS / SRT Motorsports) and former NFL star Des White watched on as the Radical Cup put on another spectacular show.


Ari Straus (#136) set the early SR8 pace in qualifying, laying down a 1:20.178. However Gerhard Watzinger (#32)- who only had only managed a handful of laps on Friday- was immediately on the pace and by lap eight had gone three tenths faster to take his third pole position for the season with a 1:19.824. It was an impressive performance too from Jim Booth (#5), claiming third on the SR8 grid in his first Radical Cup appearance.

SR3 was equally competitive with the order still changing as the session's final minutes counted down. On his eleventh lap John Falb (#77) looked set to take his third consecutive pole with a 1:23.956, but in an exciting climax Tony Bullock (#12) sole the bragging rights and the bonus point with a 1:23.662 two laps later. Amazingly George Kurtz (#4) then turned a time identical to Falb's time to line up third on the grid.

As the green flag flew, Bullock took command in SR3, while a tough opening lap saw Utah winner Falb fall back to tenth overall on the first lap. Meanwhile, Mark Allan (#36) charged, passing Falb and Todd Slusher (#62) to be fourth in class by lap two. Kurtz was also on the move, taking second place away from House during lap three.

Regrouping, Falb clawed his way back, dispatching Slusher, Allan and the SR8 of Adam Merzon (#7) before trying to hunt down House.

Bullock then came under increasing pressure from Kurtz for the SR3 lead. Finally relinquished on lap eight, he left Kurtz to turn his maiden race in the series into his maiden win for the season.

Impressively the pair's pace had catapulted them to fourth and fifth outright and a full lap clear of David House's third placed SR3.

While having to settle for the second step of the podium, Bullock also picked up the bonus point for having the fastest SR3 race lap of 1:24.899.

Watzinger continued his dominance of the SR8 field. As Booth quickly settled into a solid third, Straus stayed within striking distance of Watzinger initially, but as German's rhythm and carbon brakes warmed up, the gap between first and second slowly opened.

It appeared the result would remain status quo until the last lap when Straus came across a stranded back marker in turn five. Lifting to avoid a collision, Straus himself spun, handing Booth the second step of the podium.

Taking his third victory of the season, Watzinger chalked up another perfect points haul by laying claim to the race's fastest lap of 1:22.173.


While the sunny skies of Saturday were replaced with cooler overcast conditions, Sunday's on-track action remained as hot as ever.

After a number of drivers trading throughout qualifying Bullock found himself barely on top of the SR3 chart, just a few one-hundreds up on Kurtz after the pair recorded their best on lap ten. However, Falb surprised them both a lap later with a 1:23.892 to claim the bonus point and his third SR3 pole of the year.

Watzinger also reeled off another impressive lap, a 1:19.906, to take his fourth SR8 pole from Straus while Merzon secured third with a lap three tenths quicker than Booth's best.

As they lined up in the form-up area, the gloomy weather lingered. To the cheers of mechanics, Mark Allan joined the field as the cars rolled out of pitlane. In a truly valiant effort and display of total commitment, the Radical West mechanics had miraculously swapped out Allan's engine in less than 90 minutes after noticing a serious oil leak during qualifying.

A request from the drivers saw the field try a split start for Sunday's race, with the SR8s and SR3s staged separately behind NARRA's official Pace Car for Road Atlanta, a brand new 2013 SRT Viper GTS from Ringgold SRT.

Two perfect formation starts saw Watzinger and Bullock again take command of their respective classes.

Behind Bullock and Falb, House found himself briefly ahead of Kurtz, followed by Jay Torres (SR3, #123) and Allan, who had leaped past George Scott (#176) and Todd Slusher after starting rear of grid.

By lap seven rain began to fall on the south end of the circuit, unraveling Falb's race when he spun in turn seven, dropping him to fifth in class.

As the conditions deteriorated, Kurtz pounced past Bullock for the lead. It proved to be the defining move of the race as within a lap the full course caution was brought out when House and then Torres had minor mishaps.

With rain now falling on the entire circuit and cars still on slicks the safety car remained deployed until the checkered flag greeted the field.

Pumping his fist Watzinger recorded his fourth SR8 victory, from Ari Straus and Jim Booth.

Giving the CrowdStrike team a clean sweep, Watzinger's teammate George Kurtz replicated the feat in SR3, while Bullock's second place moved him into the lead of the SR3 championship points. Falb completed the podium and Allan appropriately repaid the mechanics with an impressive fourth placed finish.

Both Saturday and Sunday's podium finishers received custom made trophies by B.R.M timepieces, with class winners awarded sets of Dunlop tires. Radical West also presented Sunday's winners with custom TW Steel watches.

Watzinger's victory puts him firmly at the top of the SR8 championship points table, and his four perfect results make him a strong contender for the class champion's award of a Radical Masters Euroseries race as well as the overall champion's award of a test with a top European Le Mans Prototype team.

But as they say, 'anything can and will happen in motorsport' and with only the best ten results counting and eight races still remaining, all of the drivers have their eyes firmly on the outstanding prizes.

Rounds 5 & 6 of the 2013 Radical Cup take place June 28-30 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca near Monterey, California.


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