Website http://www.paulradisich.co.uk RACE REPORT OULTON PARK, CHESHIRE Monday 25th May 1998 It was the first of two visits this season to the Cheshire circuit and one which for the Peugeot team was never destined to deliver the results ...
OULTON PARK, CHESHIRE Monday 25th May 1998
It was the first of two visits this season to the Cheshire circuit and one which for the Peugeot team was never destined to deliver the results the 406 is thought capable of achieving. Pre-meeting testing produced disappointing times, continuing the current run of poorer-than-expected performance.
However, despite a fruitless weekend in terms of points accumulation, better times are beckoning Esso Ultron Team Peugeot as the team prepares to make changes in key areas in their resolve to find a consistently competitive 406.
Round 9 - 20 laps A slipping clutch delayed Radisich’s dash from the line, and was to hamper his attempts to recover lost ground on the first straight. An early exchange with Muller’s Audi, taking Radisich into 12th was short-lived when the Audi driver regained his place on the third lap. This move was to be the only activity the 406 would enjoy in the sprint race.
Radisich finished 12th.
Round 10 - 40 laps 12th was in the air today, being the Kiwi’s starting position for the 40 lap feature race.
A much more entertaining race by virtue of the fact the mandatory pit-stops stimulated an ever-changing lead, including Peugeot’s Paul Radisich.
A largely uneventful first few laps promised little in the way of entertainment, until the 12th lap when the first of the works drivers, James Thompson, came in to the pits to change tyres. He was followed by a flurry of pit visitors, which by lap 26, promoted Radisich to the lead on the road. For a brief spell it looked as though Radisich would be awarded the additional point for a race lead; that was until previous race leader, Alain Menu ( Renault ), who had profited from the quickest pit stop, charged up behind the Peugeot and dived down the inside of Radisich. Despite the Kiwi leaving room for Menu to make the manouevre, Menu outbraked himself and made contact with the 406, sending the pair onto the grass, opening the door for his team-mate, Jason Plato to claim the lead. Both cars recovered but by now had lost valuable time.
Time to make that pit stop.
Radisich was the final driver to make his mandatory stop, but even the pit stop did not go quite to plan. A struggle to remove the rear wheels and a penalty for excess speed in the pit lane, meant Radisich dropping further down the order into 14th. And the fun didn’t stop there
The drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane lost Radisich a few vital seconds if he was to try to secure a top ten result. But once again, not to be defeated, he left the pit lane committed to making up lost time.
As he exited the pit lane he rejoined the race just ahead of the leading pack and race leader Alain Menu, who had been unable to shake off team-mate Plato. As they all rushed into Fosters, Menu went for a dive down Radisich’s inside again, only to overshoot and run wide, allowing his team-mate and Rickard Rydell ( Volvo) through into the lead.
For Radisich, round 10 turned out to be an entertaining if not fulfilling 40 laps, which, if nothing else, puts him firmly in the limelight for next weekend’s BBC Grandstand coverage.
Next race: Rounds 11&12 14th June at Donington Park where Nigel Mansell returns to the BTCC