Shell Championship V8 Supercars Series - Round 8 Calder Park 24-25 July 1999 Shell Helix Team boss and Aussie icon, Dick Johnson, was sidelined for this weekend's V8 Supercar visit to Calder after a further operation to cure ...
Shell Championship V8 Supercars Series - Round 8
Calder Park 24-25 July 1999
Shell Helix Team boss and Aussie icon, Dick Johnson, was sidelined for this weekend's V8 Supercar visit to Calder after a further operation to cure his persistent sinus complaint. Son Steven therefore stepped into the legend's shoes as team-mate to Paul Radisich - Steven's first race since Bathurst last year.
Race One 21 laps
A great start allowed Radisich to hug the inside line into the first corner joining the crush of top six runners. By turn three John Bowe, whom Radisich had caught, cut across the front of the number 18 Shell Helix Falcon, catching the front splitter and tearing it from Radisich's car.
Radisich soldiered on, battling with the absent front aerodynamics, but was forced to visit the pits to remove and replace the shattered splitter. An unenviable task in the middle of a race, the team bolted on a fresh splitter, however, the damage was such that Radisich was prevented from making up the three laps lost in the pits and eventually retired on lap 12.
Race Two 21 laps reduced to 17
Starts: back of grid
In an horrific and dramatic start to race two, championship leader, Craig Lowndes' HRT Holden was tipped into the air in the fierce four way battle at the end of the pits straight. The Holden rode along the tarmac on its roof, barrel-rolling as it hit the kerbing and crashed onto the grass banking. After a few anxious moments, Lowndes gave fans a "thumbs-up" from a stretcher carrying him into the waiting ambulance before receiving a check-up at hospital.
The stoppage to clear the wrecked Holden forced a new race distance over 15 laps, extended to 17 as the safety car was deployed when Jason Bright's Falcon crashed off the circuit on lap two.
Radisich had already overhauled 12 of the runners at the back of the field - running 16th when the safety car returned to the pits. Picking off Mclean and the Romano, Radisich chased fellow New Zealander, Greg Murphy, catching him and lapping almost a whole second faster. However, the chequered flag fell before Radisich could make his move on Murphy, settling for 12th.
Race Three 21 laps
Once again a good start promoted Radisich to eighth by the end of the first lap. Faced with rapidly deteriorating tyres, he challenged John Faulkner and inherited seventh position and used the remaining laps to make up ground on Cameron McConville.
Charging with fierce determination, Radisich registered the fastest lap of the race and finished seventh - representing eleventh overall on the day.
Radisich remains in 11th in the drivers championship
Next race: Tasmania, 8 August