Champions Chat: Philip Hughes

The Shannons Nationals caught up with 2018 Australian Prototype Series Radical and Supersport winner Philip Hughes, who won the class title despite competing in one less round than his competitors. 

Shannons Nationals: Congratulations on a successful year, how were the celebrations?

Philip Hughes: I am happy to have won the class, but the celebrations were pretty low-key to be honest. I just had a good year and I was pretty satisfied to win despite missing the Queensland round.

Overall I am happy with how I drove. I had a couple of dodgy results but I seemed to able to dominate in the wet, which is what got me through the season and eventually the title.

SN: What would you say was your best moment from 2018?

PH: I have to say the opening round at Tailem Bend was one of the best moments. It was really exciting because the track was new, no one had really been there and it was the first time any major race meeting had competed on it.

I only had mediocre results there, but I really did enjoy it because I was driving through sandstorms while trying to learn the new track.

In the final round at Phillip Island, I had a really mixed round due to car troubles, but when it came to the race that really mattered, I started ninth and finished second, which got me the class win and third outright for the whole series.

SN: Were there any horrible moments throughout the year?

PH: I didn’t have a horrible moment to be honest. I didn’t have any accidents, nothing fell off the car, I mostly just had a fairly uneventful solid year.

There were some frustrations throughout the year with the car due to mechanical and electrical issues, including a little panic before the last round at Phillip Island where I was about to load the trailer and do one final check, but I found that the car had low compression.

I had to do quick head off valve job very late last minute, which ended up being a blessing in disguise because the car ran perfect the next day.

SN: Any special mentions for the season? 

PH: To not mention my wife would be criminal, so I have to thank my wife Clare for her time and the opportunity to go racing. I have my favourite sponsor in Café Cavallino in Lygon Street, as well as the Ballarat Wildlife Park.

SN: What are you plans for 2019?

PH: I have no plans yet and this year is very much in the air. I will definitely be going where the series goes, so if it continues this year, so will I.

While I would like to have a crack at all the races in the series, my other ambition is to join the Radicals support race at Bathurst but it may be difficult to get there this year.