Sandown: Tasman Motorsport race report

Richards & Murphy 14th At Sandown 500 Tasman Motorsport's Jason Richards and Greg Murphy have finished today's Just Car Insurance Sandown 500 14th overall, while Managing Director Jeff Grech has offered an apology from his team to Sandown 500 ...

Richards & Murphy 14th At Sandown 500

Tasman Motorsport's Jason Richards and Greg Murphy have finished today's Just Car Insurance Sandown 500 14th overall, while Managing Director Jeff Grech has offered an apology from his team to Sandown 500 winners Team Vodafone.

The apology follows a racing incident involving Murphy and Craig Lowndes late in the race where Murphy received a black flag for holding up the winning car.

The #51 Firepower/Tasman Commodore, which had been running strongly and as high as fifth, effectively lost a lap to the leading car by virtue of having stopped just prior to the Safety Car's appearance at approximately the half race distance mark.

With the leader now on Murphy's tail, following the restart Murphy 'raced' the Falcon for a number of laps before officials first waved blue flags, then black flagged the two-time Sandown winner.

"We have apologized as a team to [Team Vodafone's] Campbell Little," said Grech following the race.

"It was an unfortunate situation where again the Safety Car mixed up the field between the cars that came in for the pit stop at its deployment and the cars which came in earlier and the field was jumbled.

"We as a team should have realised that we were technically going to be a lap down from Craig on the restart and we subsequently held him up.

"There can be no blame on Greg as he was instructed by the team to hold his position and followed instructions.

"Then, laps later, the officials waved the blue flags while Greg was under the impression he was still racing for position. He asked the crew about the flags, but by that stage they deemed he was holding up the Triple 8 car and was given a drive through penalty.

"We as a team have to be more on top of strategies like that where we must follow where our car is in relation to the cars around us a little more quickly."

Ironically, the Safety Car period which effectively ruled Murphy and Richards out was caused by the second Firepower/Tasman Commodore of Mark Noske and Jay Verdnik.

Running 26th on track with Verdnik at the wheel, the #3 Commodore came to a halt on the back straight, radio troubles causing miscommunication with Verdnik missing the call to pit - the car running out of fuel and disappointingly ending its race.

Lowndes and team-mate Jamie Whincup won the race with Rick Kelly and Paul Radisich finishing second for the Toll/HSV Dealer Team, Steven Richards and Owen Kelly third in a Falcon.

Defending champion Kelly moves back past team-mate Garth Tander and into the championship lead, with Murphy and Richards remaining 14th and 15th respectively in points.

The next round of the V8 Supercar Series is the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 at Mount Panorama, Bathurst on 4-7 October.

-credit: tasmanmotorsport.com.au

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Garth Tander , Greg Murphy , Rick Kelly , Craig Lowndes , Jason Richards , Jamie Whincup , Owen Kelly , Jay Verdnik , Campbell Little , Steven Richards