New Zealand ace Paul Radisich gets the nod to drive the TKR Ford at Perth this weekend after matching likely replacement Adam Macrow in a test in Queensland yesterday.
March 22, 2007, 10am. Paul Radisich will drive the Team Kiwi Racing (TKR) Ford Falcon in this weekend’s Australian V8 Supercar round in Perth.
Radisich was given the nod after matching Australian Adam Macrow in a test in Queensland yesterday.
TKR drafted Macrow into the black Falcon for the opening round of the 2007 series at Adelaide earlier this month after Radisich said his ankle – broken in a massive crash at Bathurst last October – was still not strong enough for the demands of the street circuit.
Macrow, the current Australian V8 Supercars Development Series champion, set the second fastest Ford lap in the Adelaide races, and was the almost certain replacement for Radisich if the Kiwi were still unfit to contest this weekend’s three races in West Australia.
In Wednesday’s test, Radisich and Macrow drove 35 laps each in a deregistered Ford Falcon V8 Supercar. Young New Zealander Chris Pither, who races in the Ute series in Australia, also took part to assess whether he could take Radisich’s place and ensure a Kiwi was in the car which is promoted as representing the only New Zealand team in the Supercar series. It’s understood Pither got to within a second of Radisich’s lap time.
“We always wanted Paul back in the car as soon as possible and always wanted a Kiwi to drive,” TKR owner David John said last night. “But in saying that the TKR drive is not just there for the sake of it or to be taken for granted.
“A Kiwi driver who has the opportunity to drive a package as good as this has to be able to match it with the best international drivers…or we’re all wasting our time in this championship.
“The TKR All Black Ford this year demands that we have a driver on top of their game behind the wheel at all times.”
Radisich says he’s confident he can perform well in Perth.
“To be fair I probably surprised myself today,” he said after the test. “I was able to lift myself to Adam’s level today and he did such a great job in the car in Adelaide.
“I’m almost back to full fitness and itching to be back racing this weekend.”
John said a key reason for selecting Radisich was the next round of the championship in Pukekohe.
“That’s a big focus for us. We want to do well in front of our home fans especially with the last time for V8 Supercars at Pukekohe. Paul will need the Perth round for race fitness and by the time we hit Pukekohe we’ll be 100 percent ready to be a very competitive unit.”