Kiwi touring car ace Paul Radisich stormed home to a convincing win in the opening instalment of the St Mary’s Trophy race. He powered Jim Woodley’s rumbling Ford Galaxie 500 into an early lead from the middle of the front row, only to lose out to the similar car of pole-sitter Barrie ‘Whizzo’ Williams within two corners. The two V8 leviathans out-muscled the chasing pack save for ’69 Le Mans winner Jackie Oliver who gamely clung to the American coupes aboard Richard Shaw’s BMW 1800 TiSA. Sadly, Williams was forced to retire from the lead ten minutes into the 25-minute thriller, Radisich inheriting a lead he would maintain to the flag ahead of a super-committed Oliver.
But it was the battle for third place that proved most compelling, eight-time Le Mans victor Tom Kristensen, works Aston Martin star Darren Turner and touring car legend Anthony Reid regularly swapping places. Ultimately, Reid’s Jaguar dropped back a touch with cooked brakes, Kristensen’s Ford Lotus Cortina just staving off Turner’s Mini Cooper to secure third place. The second half of this saloon car spectacular kicks off tomorrow afternoon.