Friday, Mar 8 05:04pm
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

Paul Radisich gets first taste of Ford Mustang GT-X, tops practice

Paul Radisich certainly hasn’t lost any of his ability since retiring from full-time competition, setting the fastest time in BNT V8s Practice 1 on Friday.


Radisich completed just one session at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park. He opted not to run in Practice 2, which was well and truly wet – a choice made largely due to what is expected to be a dry Saturday.


The 1993 and 1994 World Touring Car Cup champion was roped in to race the Mitchell Race Xtreme-built Ford Mustang GT-X. The car is a bespoke creation, but is part of a long-term project towards the BNT V8s Gen II regulations change.


“The car is fabulous to drive,” Radisich told


“Its professionally built and the guys have spared no expense on preparing it properly. It is a joy to drive.


“It’s a bit like a TLX car, built by the same people. It performs extremely well, except it takes a few laps just to get the feel of it and what the car wants. With a couple of click of the roll bar you get the feedback straight away – It’s superb.”


Despite only completing a handful of laps at Pukekohe Park on Thursday, Radisich managed to get comfortable in the car fairly quickly. In his short eight-lap stint he set a 1:06.273 to be the quickest on track.


Radicish said there’s a good chance the car could clock a 1:04 in qualifying, but he’ll have to start the three races from the back being an invitational Class 3 car


“I didn’t really know what to expect. I didn’t really push it that hard today, so its capabilities are unknown.


“When we put a new set of tyres on it’ll probably break into the fours. It’s got good horsepower and good tyres. The shape of it, the Mustang, is slippery as we’ve seen in Supercars over in Australia.


“For me, it’s just great to get out and have a run really. I’m not trying to have a career in motorsport, I’m just enjoying myself.”


Overall, Radisich said he enjoyed his day in the car.


“The car you can drive hard. Its just nice to lean on everything hard. It really the first outing where I can push quite hard.


“There’s a lot of rust coming out of the exhaust pipe from the drivers’ seat. It is amazing how fast it comes back. You think of all the millions of kilometres I’ve done over the years and you jump back into something like this and it come flooding back.


“The car will be quick. But of course it is invitational, which means that I can’t win the races - I have to run fourth. But that’s all good. I’m not in the championship, but hopefully I can keep up there. I’ll give it a good shot in qualifying just for my own satisfaction really.


“These guys are racing for real. So it’s just good to be back in that competitive environment.”