Paul Radisich set for NZ racing return
New Zealand motor racing icon Paul Radisich will be back in a race car next month.
Radisich will race a classic Ford Mustang at the upcoming New Zealand Festival of Motor Racing at Hampton Downs over the weekends of January 20/21/22 and 27/28/29 2012.
It will be just the second time that Radisich has competed in a motor race since his leg breaking crash during practice for the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 in 2008.
Radisich made his post-Bathurst circuit racing return earlier this year at the world famous Goodwood Revival meeting in the UK, winning the St Mary’s Trophy race in a Ford Galaxie. He also teamed up there with another Kiwi mate Roger Wills and did a few races in a CanAm McLaren M1B.
Radisich – a two time touring car World Cup champion now living in New Zealand for the first time in 25 years – has returned to become CEO of the new V8 SuperTourer Series.
When offered the opportunity in the Fleetwood Mustang by owner and friend Neil Tolich, the temptation was too great.
“I had a call from Neil who invited me to share the Mustang at Hampton Downs in January. Neil advised me that the car will not be the fastest there as by the sounds of things the class is wide open,” Radisich said.
“I have never competed or driven at Hampton Downs so I am looking forward to that experience. All competitors have raved about the circuit so here is my chance to judge it for myself.
“I have had experience with the Galaxie in the UK and also a V8 Cyclone and a Lotus Cortina which Roger Wills and I competed with in Europe together, so you could say I have enough experience with the old cars on the grooved tyres.”
Radisich will race the car over both weekends of the event but isn’t aiming to break any V8 lap records.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun and they will be fantastic back-to-back weekends of great motorsport,” he said.
“The key to me going fast in the Mustang will be seeing how far you can hang the car out in a power slide without losing it. That is the difference between modern and historic racing – I can enjoy some big power slides in the Mustang and it should help the times. Having fun and enjoying the event will be paramount though.”