Ryan Harper-Ellam, aged 19 from Brackley (Northamptonshire), will embark on his first season of sportscar racing with a fully-funded factory drive in the 2018 Radical SR1 Cup, as winner of the inaugural SR1 Shootout.
The former multiple Junior TKM karting race winner and BRSCC Formula Jedi podium finisher beat 49 fellow contestants to one of the biggest prizes in British motorsport worth over £45,000. Harper-Ellam will drive the Radical Works Team’s second generation 175bhp Radical SR1 sports prototype in the six round 12 race 2018 SR1 Cup championship. He will also become a brand ambassador for the leading British manufacturer whose single make racing series run on four continents across the globe.
Radical introduced the SR1 Shootout for the first time this year in search of a new generation of brand ambassadors, as part of the planned expansion of the SR1 Cup. For 2018, the UK championship will be open to all non-professional senior MSA race licence holders, providing the perfect, affordable entry-level platform into prototype sportscar racing.
Oversubscribed within 10 days of entries opening, the initiative attracted a vast range of drivers of all ages and abilities, from karting graduates and rookie circuit racers to established LMP3 campaigners.
Each contestant was put through an intensive five-step evaluation process by an industry leading panel of judges at Rockingham last week. Radical’s Alex Mortimer and Nigel Land, multiple sportscar Champion Bradley Ellis, LMP3 UK Champion and SR1 graduate Colin Noble Jnr and Motorsport News Managing Editor Rob Ladbrook conducted the high-level assessments. They included SR1 track tests, front and rear-wheel drive skid pan session, simulator evaluation, fitness and media assessments.
An ambassador for the Sean Edwards Foundation and member of the MSA Academy, Harper-Ellam acquitted himself fantastically to the task, standing out in all areas of assessment at the Northamptonshire circuit. “I’m over the moon,” said Ryan. “To come out on top of such a high calibre event is overwhelming. I’ve worked so hard for so long to get back on the race track and now everything finally seems to be coming together.
“As an ARDS instructor I’m used to driving different cars but I’d never driven the entry-level Radical SR1 before and didn’t know what to expect. The power and performance took me by surprise, it was a lot of fun and I can’t wait for winter to be over so I can start testing!
“To win the Shootout and work with a world-leading British manufacturer is an amazing opportunity and I’m extremely grateful. I’d love the chance to climb the Radical racing ladder. My huge thanks to everyone involved in putting together such a brilliant initiative. I hope to see some of my fellow contestants on the grid next year.”
Alex Mortimer, Radical Director of Motorsport and Engineering, commented: “Deciding the winner was no easy task for our judges as there were several drivers that could have won for different reasons, but Ryan really stood out to everyone. The way he adapted so quickly to the Radical SR1 and then took the feedback on board was incredible. He clearly has the potential to become the Radical ambassador we are searching for.”
The SR1 Cup is the first step on the Radical racing ladder to accessible prototype sportscar racing. Since its 2012 launch it has become the UK’s fastest and most exciting entry-level series, with its proven five-year format delivering unrivalled track time, expert tuition and dedicated support at every event.
The entry point to the Radical range, the high downforce, lightweight SR1 boasts a 1340cc 4-cylinder RPE-Suzuki powerplant delivering 0-60mph in 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 138mph. Coupled with the aerodynamic design, the resulting downforce and mechanical grip generated equates to GT4-paced lap times.
From the SR1 Cup, drivers can climb the racing ranks with the SR3, the world’s best-selling racecar with over 1,100 in market, right through to European-wide competition with the record-breaking 405bhp SR8 and 3.5ltr 650bhp RXC Spyder.
For further information about the Radical SR1 car and championship visit www.radicalsportscars.com