Radical Canada

by Frank Ewald

You likely have your perceptions about Canada - the country north of the United States that is full of mountains, forests, and calm, happy people. So I am sure that the title Radical Canada may make you wonder. Perhaps you have read some of my other articles and realize that, on the race track, there are some pretty radical Canadians. Here, however, my focus is upon the Radical sport racer. The challenge and thrill of building a race car is exhilarating, but it is also full of challenges that can be frustrating and press even the most calm individual to the breaking point.

If that's the case then it may be time to look to a purpose built car. Your street and track car is costing a phenomenal amount to keep on the track and, inspite of spending tons of additional funds on driving schools and performance upgrades, the times are no longer dropping because you have hit the physical limitations of the platform. Again, maybe it is time for a purpose built car. Your track and street car really is no longer a street car - but it really is not a track car either. Okay, no question. You really need to look at getting a Radical! Now, if my wife is reading this - Pam, I'm not planning on buying a Radical SR3 purpose built track car.

The Radical is so very much in its element on the race track. These cars are built with one purpose in mind, and that is to provide an adrenaline rush that simply cannot be beat. The #62 shown above has a 1500cc upgraded engine package.

I had the opportunity to visit Radical Canada's head office and chat with owner and president, Robert Burgess, about his business and the cars he sells, services, and races. Robert has been involved in motorsports and automotive sales for a lifetime, but he took a great leap into the unknown when he opened Radical Canada. He knew that the interest was there. He knew that other drivers would love this amazing platform. But he also knew that he was opening a business in uncharted waters. There are not too many purpose built race car businesses in Canada. There is absolutely room and a market for Radicals!


The Radical SR3 with its Hayabusa engine and extremely aerodynamic body - it is simply and honestly a race car.

The SR3 comes with a Hayabusa 1340cc engine stock. A fully loaded Radical SR3 is available for $129900 Canadian (the UK and US price will obviously be different). You will probably already have a tow vehicle and trailer as part of your inventory - that will be necessary. And this car is capable of making the circuit at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in one minute and 22 seconds. This is 18 seconds a lap faster than I have ever accomplished in my Nissan and a couple of seconds faster than the cars of NASCAR Canada. Radical Canada focuses on the 1340cc Radical SRS, but there are a few Radical models that you can consider. There is the 1500cc upgrade that boosts the output to 260 bhp. This will take about a second and a half off of your lap times. Then there is the SR8 which could get your lap times down to the mid-teens at CTMP. These times are what the top running World Challenge cars are running - incredible!


The profile and the outline is exceptional. I love these cars!

In Canada the Radical Cup is only available for the 1340cc SR3, as it is a fledgling series. In the United States the Radical Cup encompasses all of the Radical models. Canadian owners of the 1500cc SR3 or the SR8 can still find events to run in, but there will likely be a limited number of Radicals to compete against. While the 1500cc upgrade boosts the power to 260bhp, the SR8 comes with the Radical V8. It is an oversimplification to say that this engine is two Hayabusa engines mated together - but that is the best description. The switch to the V8 adds about 100 kilograms to the car and the output is 430 bhp. It is phenomenal. It is also a full race car with specific process for warm up and running. This engine lasts for 35 race hours before a rebuild is required. It is a thoroughbred that requires careful monitoring - Robert indicated that you have to work to race it. In contrast, he pointed out that with the SR3 you simply start it and go racing.


There is no question that Robert is an awesome salesperson. I was almost ready to pull out my wallet to pick up this used Radical that was sitting in the showroom. The price was exceptional. The car was fully updated and would be competitive on the track.
Sure enough, shortly after selling his personal Radical, Robert was out at Mosport in the black Radical SR3, proving that it was track ready and putting down some very good times.
Page 1 of 6 Next Page
Bookmark and Share
Thursday, July 02, 2015 7:29 AM
Nice Pretty Woman reference :)
Dan DeRosia
Dan DeRosialink
Thursday, July 02, 2015 8:02 AM
Something cool about Radicals is how the shocks are mounted to the chassis. Take a look at the second picture on the third page, and most of the pictures on the fourth page. The shocks are mounted to bellcranks and there's a bar linking the other side of the bellcrank to the wishbone too - so under bump or aero load, the shock is moving inwards from both ends, effectively increasing the spring rate and for that matter making the shock's work a bit easier by increasing the shaft velocity. Also there's the chromated bar linking the two sides but on opposite sides of the bellcrank - so under two wheel bump the bar doesn't do anything, but under roll, it adds to stiffness. Basically gives a lot of the motion ratio benefits of a conventional pushrod/bellcrank setup while being easier to package.

I should take some pictures of a Stohr; it's not that the Radicals aren't nice cars, but they're not nearly as aggressive as some of the SCCA sports race cars.
Thursday, July 02, 2015 5:01 PM
Spdracerut, just couldn't resist.

Dan, I think an entire article could be devoted to the suspension ... And another to the engine ... And ...
Friday, July 03, 2015 10:55 AM
$130K. Wont be much different in USD. I think I will limit my track time to bikes and karts
Friday, July 03, 2015 4:00 PM
I don't think it's really worth 130K. You could really mod out any car and get that kind of performance for way under that price. You could also buy a Viper, and drive it to the track!
Friday, July 03, 2015 5:26 PM
CTK, I'd have to go used!

Ginsu, I've been a passenger in modified Vipers at Mosport - with exceptional drivers behind the wheel - and they are an Incredible car. but not as fast as the Radical.

It may not be for everyone, but the Radical is a very good track car. And the SR8 is even more.
Dan DeRosia
Dan DeRosialink
Saturday, July 04, 2015 3:44 PM
Similar stuff... well, I don't know Radical lap times, but Stohr WF1 lap times at Road America are right around 2 minutes flat. That's faster than the Trans Am 800+hp tube chassis monsters on slicks. Good luck getting a production car to do that.
Saturday, July 04, 2015 11:06 PM
An SR8 Radical won Pikes Peak unlimited class. I did t look at times from other classes, but that's pretty cool.
Monday, July 06, 2015 11:30 AM
Dan DeRosia, that is a pretty interesting setup, didn't even notice it until you pointed it out. Wonder what the motion ratio curve looks like. Thinking it would go progressive but not sure?
Dan DeRosia
Dan DeRosialink
Monday, July 06, 2015 12:04 PM
I'm not exactly sure how Radical has it set up; other stuff I've seen do that go for linear (ie, compensating for the natural falling rate of an angled coilover) but there's no reason it couldn't be set up as rising rate. I'm not sure how much downforce the Radicals are making.

The SCCA class for stuff like this is P1 and P2 (no relation to ALMS) which were formerly CSR and DSR,and the top class cars are running underbody tunnels. Seen stuff like Pendle hydraulic 3rd spring adapted to cars with outboard suspension to help tune the car under aero load.
Dan DeRosia
Dan DeRosialink
Monday, July 06, 2015 12:05 PM
Ugh, Penske, not Pendle. Darn phone.
Monday, July 06, 2015 7:09 PM
For these types of cars, it really comes down to long term cost of racing. I've built and crewed sedans for a number of years (15 now to be exact) and know what it costs to race and maintain them. They break. A lot. And parts aren't cheap. (Fast, Reliable, Cheap. Pick two...)
Working on the Radical for 3 seasons now was a huge learning curve, but... We changed the front brake pads and rotors for season 3. They were only worn half way after 2 seasons of 7 race weekends and some track days. we just changed them so we wouldn't have to do it mid season. The body is fiberglass, cheap to repair as well. Tires are 1600 a set, but last for three weekends and then some track days. Ask a Porsche GT3 Cup Team what their tire budget is for ONE weekend...(They run comparable to slightly faster lap times to the Radical with the 1340cc engine) . We will be due for an engine refresh after this season. 3 seasons with just oil changes!
Oh, and at Mosport the Stohr is about 5 seconds a lap quicker...
And the biggest thing I had to get used to is the lack of wrenching before and during a race weekend. Nut and bolt check, tire pressures, wheel torque and fluid level check. That's it. On the sedans we were constantly working throughout the weekend, pad changes, brake bleeds, occasional transmission changes (The race car was an NX2000 with a GTiR engine)
The Radical is a lot of car for the money. And if you don't need all the bells and whistles, much less than that price. Used factory reconditioned units are an even better value...
Monday, July 06, 2015 7:32 PM
Dan, I've got the same issue with my phone! I need to see a Stohr in person!

Dave, I'm glad you've joined in. Last year we talked about a joint in-depth look at the Radical. Dan has some good points/questions that we could investigate. Plus it sounds like you're missing wrench time - I've got an engine rebuild on the 54c coming up soon. Another wrench is always welcome!
Dan DeRosia
Dan DeRosialink
Tuesday, July 07, 2015 4:02 AM
I think it's easy to look at the turnkey cost of new purpose built race cars and miss what you're getting out of them, especially when you come at things (like most readers of this site) from the point of view of mostly being exposed to racing in terms of modified production cars. I especially like the idea of some of the SCCA classes running stock motorcycle engines - you can see the appeal of your engine refresh consisting of buying a crashed bike off Craigslist.

I was checking through my photos from when SCCA Runoffs were local; I don't think I have enough to properly show all the cool details. One of the greatest parts of these types of cars is what isn't there as opposed to what is.
Post Comment Login or register to post a comment.

MotoIQ Proudly Presents Our Partners:

© 2018 MotoIQ.com