Radical Rookie keen to push on

Radical Australia Cup (RAC) Rookie Chris Perini is hopeful he can continue his good start at the Shannons Nationals in Phillip Island in June.

Since his big transition to the RAC from two wheels, where he competed on a national level in Australian Superbikes and Formula Xtreme, Perini has enjoyed some brilliant driving which has resulted in him sitting second on the RAC standings in his debut season.

Despite tempering his expectations for 2018, Perini remains surprised with how his Radical career has started.

“The best way to describe my transition is ‘full on’,” Perini said.

“Our Radical is very fast paced and we just got competitive really quickly. I’ve had some fantastic results so far and some not so fantastic results so far.

“I am surprised at how I’ve been going at it but now I feel like I can keep improving and pushing on.

“I’d be kidding myself if I wasn’t happy with second.”

Perini’s first ever race in the Radicals saw him challenge category legend Peter Paddon at Bathurst before an accident caused a retirement in the weekend’s second race.

Since that hiccup, Perini won his first ever race in April at The Bend Motorsport Park, before two fourth placed finishes at Sandown in May moved him to second in the overall standings.

The 29-year-old was now keen to continue his good run of form and catch Cup leader Kim Burke.

“I don’t want to let up just because I am going well so far. I don’t want my first season to be an excuse for me dropping off in the future,” Perini added.

“The crash as Bathurst has made my championship hopes of winning a lot more difficult than it should have been if I more scored points there.

“I feel like I’ve got it in me so I would probably be disappointed if we can’t challenge Kim a bit more towards the tail end of the season.

With the former two wheel racer spending lots of time at the home of motorbike racing in the Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit, Perini’s mind was blown on how fast the track was in the bikes compared to the Radicals.

Despite a big difference in categories, Perini’s love and for the circuit remains unchanged, with his experience potentially providing him with an edge over Burke and the rest of the competition.

“I enjoy Phillip Island a lot in the Radicals because when you’re on the bike, the track comes at you so horrendously fast compared with the Radical,” Perini explained.

“The Radical tops out with power to weight ratio nowhere near a motorcycle so I feel like I’m well adapted the track having raced there on bikes.

“The Radicals just feel comfortable and it’s awesome fun so I’m really hoping for the best of Phillip Island despite there being pretty stiff other competition.”

But gaining ground on Burke is easier said than done and with Perini’s main focus for the weekend not to make any mistakes in the first session.

“I should have more pace than Kim if it’s dry,” Perini explained.

“I’ve just have to concentrate on hitting the weekend on the right foot with no mistakes in the first session to make sure I can build that confidence early.

“That first session will start the weekend off with a good attitude and put us in a good direction from the get go. That will be important if I am to catch Kim.”

Perini will have three opportunities to reduce the deficit with the Radical Australia Cup holding one qualifying session and three races across the weekend.

The Shannons Nationals at Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit take place on 1 -3 June, with live coverage of Sunday’s session via motorsportaustraliachampionships.com.au.

Tickets are available for purchase at the gate.