Pukekohe: Tasman Motorsport Saturday report

Richards 7th In Pukekohe R1, Murph 12th Jason Richards has scored his best race result of the young V8 season in today's first race for the Placemakers V8 Supercars at Pukekohe, New Zealand. Richards moved from 11th on the grid to finish...

Richards 7th In Pukekohe R1, Murph 12th

Jason Richards has scored his best race result of the young V8 season in today's first race for the Placemakers V8 Supercars at Pukekohe, New Zealand.

Richards moved from 11th on the grid to finish seventh after 43 laps, the result pleasing the 31-year-old in his last Pukekohe appearance.

"Today turned out reasonably good, seventh is a good result and gives us a better starting position for tomorrow's two races," Richards said.

"The car was balanced throughout the various stages of the race and I was able to run off high 56/low 57 second laps easily for a large chunk of the race.

"We didn't have too many concerns; I got a good start but Ingall's car was dropping some fluid, I think fuel from the tank, and that created a bit of a drama, while the sun was in our eyes coming over the hill and I had a couple of big moments because of that, but it was the same for everyone.

"For the first time this year, we had a really good pit stop, which was the result of some equipment change and lots of practice by the boys, and that help us immensely."

Tasman Motorsport team-mate and four-time Pukekohe winner Greg Murphy didn't fair quite as well, although improved on yesterday's troubled practice session.

Having qualified 11th in both Adelaide and Perth, Murphy line-up alongside his team-mate in 12th for this afternoon's race - the pair missing the final top 10 runoff by just hundredths of seconds.

Murphy moved up to 10th during the race, but a continuing oversteer problem meant he was unable to fend off pressure from James Courtney and Mark Skaife late in the race, the #51 MTA Tasman Holden ultimately finishing 12th.

"We finished where we started, which wasn't what we'd hoped - we're suffering from the same problem we did in Adelaide and Perth where the car starts to use up its tyres after two laps and the changes don't seem to fix it," Murphy said.

"We lost time coming into the pits as well when I had a little drama entering the pit bay and that cost us de spite the stop itself being quite good.

"We'll just continue our search to find a solution to what's holding us back from a better result, and hopefully we can find it overnight."

The Toll HSV Dealer Team's Garth Tander continued on from his strong form in Perth to win today's race ahead of Ford's Mark Winterbottom and HSV team-mate Rick Kelly.

The V8s end their seven year association with Pukekohe tomorrow with two final 43-lap races.

-credit: tm

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers James Courtney , Garth Tander , Greg Murphy , Rick Kelly , Mark Skaife , Jason Richards , Mark Winterbottom