Paul Radisich (born 9 October 1962, in Auckland) is a retired New Zealand racing driver and businessman of Croat origin. He has competed in saloon cars for many years — both European-style tourers and the V8 Supercars of Australia and New Zealand.
In 1983 he was Formula Atlantic runner-up, earning the prestigious Driver To Europe award. In 1985 and 1986 he raced in British Formula 3, alongside Damon Hill. He later raced in Indy Lights and Formula Super Vee with some success, before finishing second in the 1990 Bathurst 1000. This led him towards racing saloon cars full-time.
European Touring Cars
He won the 1993 and 1994 Touring Car World Cup events at Monza and at Donington respectively. 1993 was his first British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) season, in a Ford Mondeo prepared by Andy Rouse. He finished 3rd in the series despite only competing in half the year. He would again drive for Andy Rouse in 1994 where he finished 3rd again behind Gabriele Tarquini for Alfa Romeo and Alain Menu for Renault. Radisich would again drive for Andy Rouse in 1995 but by the end of the 1995 season the car had reached the end of its development cycle and was increasingly uncompetitive during the end of the 1995 season and in the 1996 season when West Surrey Racing took over the Ford team from Andy Rouse. 1996 would be a disappointment for the Ford team with no podium places and Radisich finishing 13th in the championship. 1997 would see a new Mondeo however it to was uncompetitive and would not challenge the front running teams. In 1998 he raced for Peugeot where he again had a disappointing season. He left the series and went to race for Dick Johnson Racing in the V8 Supercar series in Australia.
At the end of the 2004 season, Radisich entered the BTCC Masters event at Donington, and was considering a comeback to the BTCC the following year, but he instead chose to continue his racing career down under.
In 1999 he joined Dick Johnson Racing replacing the departed John Bowe. He remained with Dick Johnson Racing until the end of 2002. In 2003 he joined Briggs Motor Sport which was later sold to British outfit Triple Eight Race Engineering in 2004. In total he has three race wins and eight other podium results in the championship.
Team Kiwi Racing
He surprised a lot of people by signing for the patriotic Team Kiwi Racing for 2 years in 2005 racing in a Holden for the first time, helping the team to their first ever podium finish at Shanghai International Circuit in China, (third). He finished the 2005 season in 14th place, TKR's highest ever finish in a Supercar season.
In the 2006 Supercheap Auto 1000 endurance race at Mount Panorama he had a major crash at around 200 km/h in The Chase. While attempting to overtake Nathan Pretty he ran wide into the dirt and could not brake in time and careered into a tyre wall head on, flipping the car onto its side. Rescue teams had to cut the roof off the car in order to get him out. He was then taken to a nearby hospital and then flown to a hospital in Sydney for further scans. He broke his ankle and sternum in the crash and missed the remainder of the season.
In November 2006 it was confirmed that Radisich had signed for a further 2 years with TKR and would once again be back racing in a Ford for 2007–08. He has commented that he has unfinished business in V8 Supercars.
Paul returned to the cockpit at Barbagallo for the first time since Bathurst, to the delight of many fans. He had a very good result at Pukekohe, the final round to be held at that circuit, finishing 7th in the third race.
Ford Performance Racing terminated its contract to supply and service the TKR Falcon on 31 May 2007. Paul Radisich said he had terminated his contract with TKR following the team's fallout with Ford Performance Racing that ran the car on behalf of TKR. "TKR is in breach of contract and I have therefore terminated my contract with immediate effect."
Toll HSV Dealer Team
The formal announcement was put on hold until Carrera Cup star and Bathurst rookie David Reynolds was signed and sealed with Super Cheap Auto Racing for the enduros. Reynolds had been in line for a drive with Toll HSV in the big races in September and October, but was happy to transfer to Super Cheap for his V8 Supercar debut without the potential pressure of a fellow drivers championship hanging over him.
At Sandown, Paul was paired with Championship front-runner, Rick Kelly. The car was qualified by Rick Kelly, and they started from 8th position on the grid. Paul and Rick Kelly drove the Number 1 Toll HSV Commodore to 2nd place, 2.8 seconds behind Triple Eight Racing's Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup.
At Bathurst, Paul was paired with Craig Baird. After qualifying 9th after the top-10 shootout, Paul and Craig Baird started strongly, and were running on the fringe of top 10 for the majority of the race, slowed by persistent braking problems which also afflicted their more illustrious team-mates. Ultimately, the team withdrew from the race on lap 137 of 161 so as not to risk damaging Tander and Kelly's race cars for the championship battle to come.
Retirement and later career
Returning to the team in 2008, Radisich crashed heavily during practice for the 2008 Bathurst 1000, after the throttle jammed open at McPhillamy Park Corner, hitting the concrete wall in a gap in the tyre barriers. Radisich fractured both ankles, reopened the fractured sternum sustained in an accident two years prior, fractured lumbar and thoracic vertebrae, cracked ribs and suffered bruising to his lungs. His recovery has been protracted and brought an end his motor racing career.
He was team manager of the Super Black Racing team until the team was disbanded at the end of the 2016 season. He is managing director of New Zealand oil company Aegis Oil, a company founded by his father Frank.
|1982||Australian Drivers' Championship||12th||Ralt RT4 Ford||Paul Radisich|
|1983||Australian Drivers' Championship||4th||Ralt RT4 Ford||Watson Motor Racing Pty Ltd|
|1984||British Formula 3 Championship||12th||Ralt RT3 Golf||Murray Taylor Racing|
|1986||British Formula 3 Championship||16th||Ralt RT30 Golf||Murray Taylor Racing|
|1987||American Racing Series||17th||Wildcat - Buick||Agapiou Racing|
|1987/88||New Zealand Gold Star Championship||1st||Ralt RT4|
|1988||SCCA Valvoline/Bosch/VW Super Vee Championship||4th||Ralt RT5||Ralt of America, Dave Conti Racing|
|1990||Australian Endurance Championship||13th||Ford Sierra RS500||Shell Ultra Hi Racing|
|1991||Formula Toyota Atlantic Championship||20th||Reynard 91H Toyota|
|1993||British Touring Car Championship||3rd||Ford Mondeo||Rousesport|
|1994||British Touring Car Championship||3rd||Ford Mondeo||Rousesport|
|1995||British Touring Car Championship||6th||Ford Mondeo||Rousesport|
|1996||British Touring Car Championship||13th||Ford Mondeo||West Surrey Racing|
|1997||British Touring Car Championship||13th||Ford Mondeo||West Surrey Racing|
|1998||British Touring Car Championship||14th||Peugeot 406|
|1999||Shell Championship Series||16th||Ford AU Falcon||Dick Johnson Racing|
|2000||Shell Championship Series||4th||Ford AU Falcon||Dick Johnson Racing|
|2001||Shell Championship Series||7th||Ford AU Falcon||Dick Johnson Racing|
|2002||V8 Supercar Championship Series||26th||Ford AU Falcon||Dick Johnson Racing|
|2003||V8 Supercar Championship Series||10th||Ford BA Falcon||Briggs Motor Sport|
|2004||V8 Supercar Championship Series||19th||Ford BA Falcon||Triple Eight Race Engineering|
|2005||V8 Supercar Championship Series||14th||Holden VZ Commodore||Team Kiwi Racing|
|2006||V8 Supercar Championship Series||28th||Holden VZ Commodore||Team Kiwi Racing|
|2007||V8 Supercar Championship Series||20th||Ford BF Falcon
Holden VE Commodore
|Team Kiwi Racing|
Toll HSV Dealer Team
|2008||V8 Supercar Championship Series||47th||Holden VE Commodore||HSV Dealer Team|
Bathurst 1000 results
|1988||Bryce Racing||BMW M3||Ludwig Finauer||19th||113|
|1989||Mobil 1 Racing||Ford Sierra RS500||Brad Jones||9th||153|
|1990||Dick Johnson Racing||Ford Sierra RS500||Jeff Allam||2nd||161|
|1991||Dick Johnson Racing||Ford Sierra RS500|| John Bowe
|1993||Dick Johnson Racing||Ford EB Falcon||Cameron McConville||8th||151|
|1994||Glenn Seton Racing||Ford EB Falcon||Glenn Seton||DNF||82|
|1997 (ASTC)||Esso Ultron Team Peugeot||Peugeot 406||Tim Harvey||DNF||70|
|1998 (ASTC)||Brad Jones Racing||Audi A4 Quattro||Paul Morris||DNF||84|
|1999||Dick Johnson Racing||Ford AU Falcon||Steve Ellery||DNF||147|
|2000||Dick Johnson Racing||Ford AU Falcon||Jason Bright||2nd||161|
|2001||Dick Johnson Racing||Ford AU Falcon||Steven Johnson||DNF||63|
|2002||Dick Johnson Racing||Ford AU Falcon||Steven Johnson||DNF||29|
|2003||Triple Eight Race Engineering||Ford BA Falcon||Rickard Rydell||7th||161|
|2004||Triple Eight Race Engineering||Ford BA Falcon||Max Wilson||DNF||116|
|2005||Paul Morris Motorsport||Holden VZ Commodore||Paul Morris||DNF||26|
|2006||Team Kiwi Racing||Holden VZ Commodore||Fabian Coulthard||DNF||71|
|2007||HSV Dealer Team||Holden VE Commodore||Craig Baird||DNF||137|
|2008||HSV Dealer Team||Holden VE Commodore||Rick Kelly||DNS||0|
Complete British Touring Car Championship results
(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position - 1 point awarded all races 1996 onwards) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap) (* signifies that driver lead feature race for at least one lap - 1 point awarded 1998 only)
† Not eligible for points due to being an endurance driver.
‡ Endurance driver.
- "Radisich quits Team Kiwi". Television New Zealand. 5 June 2007. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
- The Rat faces uncertain future Archived 4 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine Official Site of the Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series retrieved on 9 December 2008
- Gold Star Race Champions - Single Seaters, www.motorsport.org.nz Retrieved on 29 April 2012
- Phillips, David (12 December 1988). "All the Answers". On Track Magazine (December): 38.
Paul Radisich 4 wins, 5 poles, 3 fastest laps