Gold Coast: Tasman Motorsport preview

Richards takes repaired Tasman car to Indy KIWI V8 Supercar ace Jason Richards will have a fully repaired Tasman Commodore to race on the Gold Coast this weekend after round the clock efforts to fix it in time for this weekend's racing. The...

Richards takes repaired Tasman car to Indy

KIWI V8 Supercar ace Jason Richards will have a fully repaired Tasman Commodore to race on the Gold Coast this weekend after round the clock efforts to fix it in time for this weekend's racing.

The team elected to repair the chassis following the crash at Reid Park on top of Mount Panorama a week and a half ago rather than move its mechanicals into the new Commodore body shell which remains at the workshop.

The Kiwi will be back in familiar territory this weekend in his #3 Firepower Commodore after showing good speed at Indy last year and is confident of another strong showing.

"We go to Indy with a good chance of doing well there again. The car was fast last year and it was only driver error that held us back," Richards said.

"We were second in qualifying last year by a hundredth of a second and had a drama in the Shootout. I'm confident we can put it back up into the Shootout this weekend.

"A funny thing though, is that every time my car has a big crash, we go fast at the next race meeting. We finished on the podium in the enduros last year after the big Queensland accident and I qualified fourth at Clipsal this year after the car was crashed in pre-season testing!

"Not that we want to go crashing every weekend though, we'd rather have speed without the hours of repair in between.

"Indy is a race meeting where the teams have to stock up on their rear vision mirrors because plenty of them tend to get knocked off as the cars glance the walls."

Andrew Jones will step back into his regular car after pairing with Richards for the enduros and won't have to worry about any repairs after the #23 car completed Bathurst without any damage in the hands of Owen Kelly and Mark Noske.

"The boys have looked after the car and been quite kind to it!" said Jones.

"It's good to get back into my own car and get back into sprint mode. I've never actually raced at Indy before so I've been looking forward to it for a while.

"Every now and then this year we'v e had signs that things are starting to come together but it just hasn't happened regularly enough. I'd like to think we can have a reasonable result by the end of the year.

"When you're a co driver in the enduros it feels odd driving someone else's car and you mainly follow the other driver's lead - in this case now I'm back to working with my regular mechanics and engineers and it all feels normal again."

Tasman Motorsport Team Manager Graham Jenkins said that the Richards #3 car had gone back together well and been packed away in the team's transporter which left for Queensland on Monday at midday.

"The car was fairly damaged and spent two and a half days at Paris Acott's workshop on the chassis jig to pull it straight and repair it properly," said Jenkins.

"Now that it has left for Queensland the team has turned its attentions to working on the new body shell, which we plan to run from Symmons Plains onwards, so it's all go in the workshop and not much rest before we head to Indy."

Last weekend Richards and Jones took part in the 210-kilometre 'Around the Bay in a Day' cycling event for charity in Melbourne as part of team sponsor Fuchs' entry.

"I like to challenge myself and the ride certainly did that!" said Richards.

"I can still walk, so that's a major start! I'm not an experienced rider like Andrew, so I kept up for the first 80 kilometres or so but fell back in the pack after that."

First practice for the V8 Supercars will be on Friday with one race on Saturday and two on Sunday, both telecast on Network Ten's coverage of the Lexmark Indy 300.

-credit: tm

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Andrew Jones , Jason Richards , Mark Noske