Champion Paddon to make grand return

Defending Radical Australia Cup (RAC) champion Peter Paddon has confirmed his return to the Shannons Nationals after taking a break from the sport to focus on family.

Entered into both the RAC as well as the Australian Prototype Series (APS) for the second time this year, Paddon will be looking to pick up where he left off at Tailem Bend earlier this year.

It was a brilliant start to the Shannons Nationals in 2018 for the New-South-Wales based driver, starting his RAC defence with a round win and marked his APS debut in style also with a round win.

Following the historic opening of The Bend Motorsport Park, Paddon made the decision to take a break from the sport not long after the birth of his third child.

With the final Nationals for 2018 to take place at Sydney Motorsport Park, Paddon believes that the location was the deciding factor in making his return.

“Competing in Sydney was a simple decision because I can drive the race car in the day and play with my kids at night, so there will be lots of coffee in between” Paddon joked.

“It’s been very hectic because we have been looking after out three kids, including a 10 month old so it’s been a very busy month.”

“It is exciting to be back in the Prototypes and the RAC for my home round.

“I have also kept active since my last Nationals race in Adelaide, so I am not going to come back in completely cold which his really good.”

Following Adelaide, Paddon bought a kart and began workshopping it before taking part in a variety of Porsche races, followed by competing in the Supersports category during the CAMS New South Wales Motor Race Championships earlier this month.

Although Paddon has been unable to take his trusty Radical around the country, the 41-year-old year got some solid time driving it during the state championships where he finished fourth behind fellow RAC and Prototype competitor Mitchell Neilson.

While he has limited track time since April, Paddon believes his vast experience at Sydney Motorsport Park and in his Radical leaves him with nothing to worry about.

“I have done Sydney 100 times so I don’t see that being a big deal. I think it’s a good track,” Paddon explained.

“I am traditionally pretty quick out of the blocks, in fact there have been times where I have shown up to a race round and gone straight into qualifying and usually within two laps, I am on the pace.

“I think doing the Radical Enduros plus all the Prototype races makes it a bit of a fitness test.

“It will be a matter of just making sure I stay sharp throughout the sessions.“

With the reigning RAC champion confirming his return to the Radicals and Prototypes for the Nationals final round for Sydney, he remains unsure as to his plans in 2019.

“I haven’t made any firm decisions for next year,” Paddon added.

“It depends on the calendar a little bit and there are potentially some other categories like Porsche Challenge Cup, Toyota 86 series as well as the TCR.

“The LMP3 is coming to Australia so if I could score a co-drive in that, it would be awesome.

“Next year could be busy from a sports perspective so I am going to wait and see what happens, but for the moment, I am focusing on Sydney.”

The Radical Australia Cup and Australian Prototype Series make part of a seven category Shannons Nationals on 21 – 23 September at Sydney Motorsport Park.