Former Radical Challenge champion Steve Burgess made the best possible start to his season with a double victory at Donington Park in this year’s opening rounds.
Burgess was on pole for the first race in his SR3 with RAW Motorsport team-mate Dominik Jackson alongside.
But it was Jackson who led into the first corner as the Banbury drivers went in three abreast with Mark Richards.
Jackson was back into second on the exit of McLeans and held the gap to Burgess’ lead until the pit-stop window opened. They were the first drivers to stop and elected to stay in slicks as they rejoined, despite rain starting to fall.
Marcelo Marateotto had also made up five places on the opening lap, which left him in a strong fourth at the stops. Burgess and Jackson’s decisions to stay on slicks proved to be right as they retained their advantage in the second half to comfortably retain first and second, despite Jackson briefly beating his rival back on to track.
Marateotto only just missed out on giving RAW a clean sweep on the podium, as he was closing in on third-placed Kristian Jeffrey when the race was red flagged.
The safety car was in action within a couple of laps of race two. Burgess had led from the start with Jackson third into the chicane and quickly in pursuit of second-placed Richards.
When the green flag came out Jackson made his move.
He said: “I messed the start up and had dropped to fifth but got Richards into McLeans after the safety car and was able to match Steve for the rest of the race.”
So it was another RAW one-two with Burgess taking a second win.
“A good start again with Dom bogged down. I had started to get a gap and then had to do it all again after the safety car,” said Burgess.
The first lap brought out the safety car which meant both Burgess and Jackson, who were first and second again, could not build a lead to prepare for their longer pit-stop, due to two almost consecutive safety car interventions. They retained their advantages and almost ran in formation but were set for third and fourth until Richards received a stop-go penalty and promoted them both to join race winner Jérôme de Sadeleer on the podium.