Round 6 - Sandown - 26/27 June 1999 SHELL HELIX SETS FORD PACE AT SANDOWN - RADISICH'S INAUGURAL PODIUM OF SHELL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES In front of a 28,000 strong crowd, Paul Radisich confirmed his position today as the greatest threat...
Round 6 - Sandown - 26/27 June 1999
SHELL HELIX SETS FORD PACE AT SANDOWN - RADISICH'S INAUGURAL PODIUM OF SHELL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
In front of a 28,000 strong crowd, Paul Radisich confirmed his position today as the greatest threat to the currently dominant HRT Holdens by claiming his first podium result of the 1999 Shell Championship Series.
Radisich finished third overall by scoring a third and two fourths, making today's long-awaited podium result the watershed the Shell Helix Team deserved.
Climbing back from a lower-than-expected qualifying position, the Shell Helix driver out-performed the other Ford runners in the second and third races, proving to be the most consistent package on the day after the factory Holden team.
Clearly pleased that the team's efforts had been rewarded, Radisich said:
"We achieved our goal of a podium result this weekend, which is testament to the progress we have made over recent weeks. The DJR, Shell Helix Team worked hard to remedy the disappointing performance in qualifying and we finally realised the result that has eluded us so far this season. It's a good feeling to be back on the podium, where we expect to be on a regular basis. The next round is at our home track, so I'd like to think we can go a couple of steps better ! "
Race one - 16 laps Starts: 9th
Paul Radisich cut through the field like a knife through butter - diving between Longhurst and Ingall, then past Seton and Crompton before the field had reached the first corner.
The order at the end of lap one read, Skaife, Lowndes, Bowe, Bright, Radisich, Seton; the Shell Helix driver fifth after his forcible start and climbing all over the back of Bright's Falcon ahead.
On the twelfth lap Radisich drew alongside Bright and passed him going on to the back straight. From fourth Radisich could concentrate on Bowe and despite making gains lap by lap, was forced to settle for fourth, where he would start race two.
Race two - 16 laps Starts: 4th
Repeating his form off the line, Radisich charged past Bowe's Falcon who was alongside him on the grid, and hot on the heels of the to-date dominant Holdens of Skaife and Lowndes. Two separate midfield incidents required the introduction of the safety car while the cars concerned were removed from the track, reducing the race distance to 15 laps.
When racing resumed Skaife led from Lowndes with Radisich in hot pursuit, only six tenths short of Lowndes pace. Unable to overhaul the brace of Holdens, Radisich finished third.
Race three - 16 laps Starts: 3rd
Losing out in the scramble to the first corner, Radisich dropped a place into fourth, where he remained until the chequered flag was waved.
FINISHED OVERALL: THIRD