Radisich And Johnson Win Biazzare VIP Petfoods Queensland 500 In one of the most bizarre V8 Supercar races ever seen, Gold Coasters Paul Radisich and Steve Johnson actually won today's VIP Petfoods Queensland 500 with their car parked in a sand...
Radisich And Johnson Win Biazzare VIP Petfoods Queensland 500
In one of the most bizarre V8 Supercar races ever seen, Gold Coasters Paul Radisich and Steve Johnson actually won today's VIP Petfoods Queensland 500 with their car parked in a sand trap at turn two of Queensland Raceway. A downpour of rain forced the race to be red-flagged on lap 157 of the scheduled 161-lap distance and only moments prior Radisich had "beached" his Shell Helix Falcon.
Under international motorsport rules the red-flagging of a race means that results revert to the lap prior and on lap 156 Radisich was leading the race.
The red-flag call today meant that inaugural Queensland 500 winners Larry Perkins and Russell Ingall slipped from first to second place in their Castrol Holden.
"That's the first time I have won a race parked in a sand trap, but I'll take it," said Radisich.
"This is exactly what we came here to do and now we can get on with the rest of the championship."
Johnson, a born-and-bred Queenslander, came to the race quietly confident and left with a swag of double points which have put him in a position to win his first national title an feat his father, Dick, achieved five times.
The win also gave Ford its first outright victory in five rounds (2 sprint & 3 endurance) at Queensland Raceway and sees the event trophy stay in Queensland for the first time.
"I guess we could not have driven out of here tonight with a better result and that's always a good feeling," said Johnson.
"We have been chipping away all season and now the points indicate we are a championship threat. The remainder of the season is going to be interesting."
K-Mart Commodore drivers Todd Kelly and Greg Murphy finished third while the Holden Racing Team Commodores of Mark Skaife-Jason Bright and Tony Longhurst-Tomas Mezera made-up the top five.
Today's results have cracked open the Shell Championship Series points table with just 262 points now separating the top four drivers.
Skaife still leads the title chase with 2270 points from Bright (2166), Johnson (2062), Ingall (2008) and Radisich (1675).
Although considered to be unfair by many motorsport critics, such a red-flag decision actually cost the Dick Johnson-owned Shell team a win at Bathurst in 1992.
On that occasion Jim Richards and Mark Skaife had crashed their Nissan GT-R at the top of Mount Panorama after a massive downpour hit the track.
Dick Johnson took the chequered flag in his Shell Sierra, but elation turned to despair moments later when the red-flag rule became evident to everyone and Johnson and co-driver John Bowe were relegated to second place.
"I guess that's justice," said an elated Dick Johnson, who watched the race from the pit wall on the main straight, which was named after him only last week.
"This is just bloody fantastic."
The next round of the Shell Championship Series will be held at Winton in North-East Victoria in a fortnight.
<pre> VIP PETFOODS QUEENSLAND 500 TOP 10 1: Steve Johnson-Paul Radisich (Ford) 2: Larry Perkins-Russell (Holden) 3: Greg Murphy-Todd Kelly (Holden) 4: Mark Skaife-Jason Bright (Holden) 5: Tony Longhurst-Tomas Mezera (Holden) 6: Steve Ellery-Geoff Brabham (Ford) 7: Paul Weel-Tim Leahy (Ford) 8: Jim Richards-Dean Canton (Ford) 9: Paul Romano-Owen Kelly (Holden) 10: Paul Morris-Matt Neal (Holden)
SHELL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES POINTS 1: Mark Skaife 2270 2: Jason Bright 2166 3: Steve Johnson 2062 4: Russell Ingall 2008 5: Paul Radisich 1675 6: Greg Murphy 1611 7: Todd Kelly 1554 8: Marcos Ambrose 1410 9: Craig Lowndes 1381 10: Garth Tander 1370