Paul Radisich will reunite with his 1994 World Touring Car Cup-winning Ford Mondeo Supertourer in this year’s Skope Classic.
Radisich is the latest big name to confirm his place in a 25-strong Archibalds Historic Touring Car grid ahead of next month’s event at Ruapuna.
Yesterday it was announced that Greg Murphy would be behind the wheel of a genuine Dick Johnson Racing Ford Sierra RS500. Meanwhile, his son Ronan will be competing in a 1996 Nissan Primera Supertourer.
Radisich no doubt has fond memories of the Mondeo. Built by Andy Rouse, the Kiwi steered the car to third in the 1994 British Touring Car Championship – a season marred by controversy.
Newcomers Alfa Romeo had exploited a loophole in the homologation rules which allowed for aerodynamic wings on cars provided they were fitted to a limited number of road cars.
Thus, Alfa Romeo had built a homologation special car with a large rear wing and a fully adjustable front splitter. These modifications gave them an indisputable advantage over the rest of the field.
Meanwhile, Ford was left to rue over what could have been after arriving into the 1994 season off the back of a successful debut year with the Mondeo in 1993.
Radisich still managed to claim two race wins and several podiums to ensure he finished in the top-three in the standings.
Though his greatest success was to come in that year’s World Touring Car Cup, an event Radisich had won the previous year also in a Mondeo.
The cup was to be determined by one winner-takes-all 25-lapper around Donnington Park.
Initially, Radisich had made a blunder of a start from the front row, and it was John Cleland in the Vauxhall Sport who seized the early lead.
That was until a four-car pile-up just a few rows back saw the race suspended and eventually restarted with drivers to return to the previous grid positions.
Second time around saw Radisich get the best launch and take the early lead. He would hold onto this position for all 25-laps, despite a late scare when the Mondeo’s gear selection starting to play-up.
Several years after its heyday conquering Europe, the Mondeo made a new home in New Zealand.
Radisich has since been back behind the wheel of the machine at different historical events, including the Skope Classic and the Legends of Bathurst.
The 2021 Skope Classic will be held over February 5-7 at Ruapuna Raceway in Christchurch.