Paul Radisich will become the V8SuperTourers inaugural chief executive officer, commencing November this year.
The retired Kiwi race driver, best known for his double world touring car wins in 1993 and 1994, will return from England to his homeland to take on the CEO at the new class.
Radisich replaces Mark Petch, one of the founding directors of V8SuperTourers Ltd, as the company’s front-line executive.
Radisich has been based primarily in the United Kingdom for the past three years running a business providing unique pit wall solutions for race tracks around Europe. The 48-year-old has many race and championship wins to his credit including nine years full-time competition the V8 Supercars Championship.
Radisich’s extensive international touring car experience includes racing and winning with teams such as Dick Johnson Racing, Triple Eight Racing and Walkinshaw Racing.
Radisich is delighted to have the opportunity to head the new race series and to return to New Zealand.
“It’s not rocket science, running an attractive, commercially-successful race series, but the challenge of balancing the needs of the public, commercial partners and competing teams is not easy,” Radisich says.
“I have been fortunate to have experienced the worst and the best around the world, and I have a very clear view of what needs to be done back home in New Zealand.
“Personally I am also looking forward to returning home and this exciting new role provides just the catalyst I needed to do so. My wife, Patricia, and our two children are also excited about coming to live in New Zealand, so that makes it just much more rewarding for us all, as a family.
“The whole proposition – of a new series, a purpose-built race car and a fantastic line-up of driving talent – makes this role with V8SuperTourers truly exciting. I’m really looking forward to the new challenges ahead.”
Petch continues as the company’s managing director while Radisich assumes all day-to-day responsibilities with the support of Cherie Brown, whose appointment as the marketing, promotions and event manager was also announced earlier this week.
Petch says the directors of V8SuperTourers Ltd have charged Radisich with the overall role of running and promoting the company’s programme of race events, which start in February 2012.
Radisich will also join TV3 motorsport presenter Shaun Summerfield on-air when coverage of the V8SuperTourers screens on the network’s Gillette Motorsport show.
“Our board is 100 per cent united in the decision that Paul is the perfect person to take V8SuperTourers into the future now that we have been able to establish such a solid and dynamic base of activity on which to build,” says Petch.
“We knew that as we moved forward we needed to find the right person to help take the company forward and, in our collective opinion, Paul is more than capable of establishing V8SuperTourers as the preeminent V8 touring car category in New Zealand.
“Without doubt, Paul is New Zealand’s most successful and accomplished touring car driver of all time. He has also been a great ambassador for New Zealand and motor racing generally all around the world.”
The inaugural season of V8SuperTourer race action gets underway at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park over the weekend of February 17-19. The seven-round series also heads to Christchurch twice, Fielding and Taupo once with two additional rounds at the North Waikato Hampton Downs circuit.