Round 1 of the Radical North American Masters is in the books, and what a round it was. There was competition, drama, adversity, and plenty of action.
Three drivers from Team Stradale, Antoine Comeau, Jeff Green, and Bob Noorian, came into the 1340 class with the wind at their backs thanks to last year’s success and quality performances at PBOC Winterfest back in January. So, what did they do with that momentum? They absolutely dominated.
After tasting the podium already this year in January, Antoine was gunning for another top finish. The competitive 1340 class though, with the most drivers of any class for the weekend, wasn’t about to make it easy for him. Nor was his teammate Jeff Green. Jeff and Antoine battled each other through Race 1 on Saturday, with Jeff ultimately taking first place in that race and Antoine, facing an overheating issue, ending up with a DNF. Bob Noorian, meanwhile, had a battle of a different kind – with his own blistering left-front tire. Despite the tire issue, Bob still pulled out a 9th place finish.
The competition carried over to Sunday, when the weather warmed up and the racing practically boiled over. Race 2 on Sunday saw Antoine get back into his groove, pushing ahead of Jeff and holding on for a first place finish of his own. Jeff was at his heels, though, grabbing second.
With Jeff and Antoine leading the 1340 class in points heading into Race 3, the state was set for some Team Stradale drama. And the action unfolded like something out of the new Fast and Furious movie, as a V8 cut the grass coming on the straightaway at over 140mph, causing a near miss, and contributing to a yellow flag which made for a mandatory pit stop. But Team Stradale is always quick on their feet, which means Jeff and Antoine got out just in front of the pace car. When the green flag went up, Antoine and Jeff were in a fight to the finish right up until the final lap. With Jeff in the lead, Antoine put a move on and took an inside line. Jeff didn’t flinch, though, and the two cars drove in lock-step, taking several corners side-by-side, until while going through the esses both cars lost control. They both kept their heads on and recovered quickly, and Jeff brought things home for a first place finish, while Antoine took second at his heels. Bob, once again facing tire trouble, this time in the form of a puncture, went to the pit. After a quick change the team got him back out on the track where he was able to muscle out a strong 9th place.
Overall, Team Stradale absolutely dominated the class, with three first place finishes and two second place finishes, placing them squarely in the lead for the Radical Cup 1340 series.
Team Stradale also grabbed a victory of another kind, as team principal Francesco D’Avola accepted a prestigious Radical honor – being recognized as the dealer with the highest volume of Radical sales worldwide.
The North American Radical Cup action continues in a few weeks, May 12th-14th, as Team Stradale drivers will take their place at the world-famous Watkins Glen in upstate New York.