Star Touring Car driver says he’s still not fit enough to tackle the demanding street circuit in V8 Supercar series opener.
February 22, 2007. Paul Radisich, who was hurt badly in a crash at Bathurst last year, will sit out the opening round of the 2007 Australian V8 Supercar series on March 3 and 4, saying he doesn’t feel fit enough for the demands of the Adelaide street circuit. Radisich, who broke his ankle and his sternum (breast bone) in the Bathurst crash, tested the new Team Kiwi Racing (TKR) Ford Falcon at Winton this week.
Though he says he was relatively satisfied with his performance, he’s not ready for the rigours of the toughest round in the championship, the Clipsal 500 which is made up of two 250-kilometres races on the demanding Adelaide track.
“I’ve worked hard on my fitness and I came through the Boot Camp training with the Ford Performance Racing boys in Queensland two weeks ago quite well,” Radisich said.
“(I haven’t) been in a car since Bathurst, and Adelaide is the hardest test for any driver. It’s the longest single driver stints that we do in the championship with two 250km races each day. And you need to be at 110 percent every lap on this street circuit which is so unforgiving.
“The championship is more than just one round and with Pukekohe so early in the (series) I need to give myself a little more time so we can come out all guns blazing in front of our home crowds.”
TKR owner David John says he “totally understand(s) the situation and we respect Paul’s decision. There’s a lot at stake here for all involved. Paul is an important part of TKR’s plans this year and we need him in top shape when he races.”
Radisich says he was delighted with the new TKR Ford in testing.
“I wasn’t concerned with lap times but we did a lot of things with the car and it felt great. This is without doubt the best package that I’ve had the opportunity to drive in V8 Supercars.
“I’m personally disappointed not to be behind the wheel in Adelaide but I know this is the best decision to make for myself and for TKR. We’re going to be in for an exciting season and we have a car that will be very competitive.”
To meet contractual obligations, TKR will have to field a replacement driver at Adelaide.
It is currently looking at several drivers with V8 Supercar experience and expects to name a replacement on Monday.