Over ten years since he last piloted a championship series car at Manfeild, HPM Racing team driver Paul Radisich returns to the Feilding based raceway.
A once very regular racer at the lower-North Island venue, this weekend’s NZ V8s race action will again be with Ford — this time the 777 HPM Racing Falcon.
“The last event I did there was when Ford entered the Telstar’s in the NZ Championship and I did a couple of guest appearances – in about 1995,” commented Radisich from his Melbourne home. “I’ve got great memories of being punted in to the bank — for my sins.”
The fourth and final round in the North Island of the 2007/08 NZ V8s Championship, Radisich is in a close battle for second overall in the standings — although that isn’t where his focus is: “Just keeping clear of the carnage in the final reverse-grid race, that’ll be a big deal — from there the points should follow.”
Still very much in the hunt for the overall title, the start of the Manfeild weekend puts the championship in to second-half of the season, with a total of nine races to run over three remaining rounds.
“Manfeild is a great little track; it’s always been a fun track to drive on, particularly the in-field banking part — it’s always a good spectator track and while it’s not a technical track it is a fun track.”
“In the V8 class it would be very very close,” he predicts. At 3.03km in length, the banked corners are a unique feature that allows higher corner speeds with a number of passing opportunities.
Back to a shiny guise following the Taupo A1GP weekend of battle, the yellow and black 777 HPM Racing Falcon received a clean bill of health from team manager Greg Bellingham.
“We believe we’ve solved the carburettor issues of Taupo — they’ve (the team have) worked very hard on it. Although it’s still a debate whether we use the new engine or not as we haven’t used up any of our engine lives yet. I’m looking forward to it, the team is looking forward to it – we are there to go up the ladder.”
There to bolster the Paul Radisich fan base, HPM Legrand New Zealand Sales & Marketing Manager Neil Walker says they expect over 120 corporate clients to attend the Manfeild weekend:
“We’ve got quite a big deal on with one of our local suppliers: Stewart’s Electrical, with a competition that Paul will treat the winners to hot-laps on Friday afternoon.”
Following the testing procedure of Friday, the Fujitsu 200 at Manfeild starts with qualifying in three sessions on Saturday morning and a 14-lap race in the afternoon.
The second race of the weekend starts around noon on Sunday with the full-reverse grid 22-lap race from 4pm.
The HPM Racing team are further supported by HPM Legrand, Tribro, Ricoh, Paslode, TimberWorld, LeasePlan NZ, Olex New Zealand, South Auckland Ford, Pennzoil, Tracer Interiors and Construction.
NZ V8s – Championship points (after round three) – provisional
1. J McIntyre (Nelson) 574
2. A Fogg (Auckland) 469
3. K Scott (Hamilton) 464
4. Paul Radisich (Melbourne) 449
5= A Booth (Auckland) 375
5= P Manuell (Auckland) 375
Source: HPM Racing team/Tracer Motorsport