Race 1 Ends In Disappointment For Richards
The first race of the Dunlop Grand Finale at Phillip Island has ended in disappointment for the ROCKSTAR Tasman Motorsport Holden team, with Jason Richards spinning off the track with just two laps remaining.
Richards, who started the race from fifth position, had been sitting comfortably in third - the result of good speed and strategy and an excellent pit stop - the off-track excursion at turn 2 dropping him 13 places down the finishing order.
Team-mate Greg Murphy, who started from 15th after struggling in qualifying, finished the race in tenth, the four-time Bathurst champion battling with his car during the 27 lap contest.
Toll HSV Dealer Team's Garth Tander won the race from the Holden Racing Team's Mark Skaife, with Ford's Jamie Whincup third.
Tander and Whincup now sit on equal points heading into tomorrow's two crucial championship deciding final races.
Jason Richards, #3 ROCKSTAR Tasman Motorsport Holden Commodore VE: "Obviously, I'm very disappointed; we had a great car, good speed, our strategy was right and the pit stop was spot on. The team deserved a whole lot better. Coming into turn 2 I thought I'd selected first instead of third gear and I clutched hoping to still get around there. The engine revs dropped, which virtually stopped the power steering, and I couldn't turn the wheel, so I gave it some revs. It just flicked around and that was it..."