RICHARDS: INTERNATIONALS "WON'T HAVE A CHANCE"
Crash-fest or international showcase? Jason Richards is undecided about how this weekend's Gold Coast 600 will pan out but believes he and co-driver Andy Jones are in with a great shot.
As one of the most experienced pairings, and with one of the fastest cars over the last five events, Richards says Team BOC has to be among the favourites for a coveted Surf Board trophy.
After his recent crash during Bathurst practice, however, Richards is ultra-aware of how difficult these cars are to drive and is nervous for his new competitors on a circuit as unforgiving as the Gold Coast.
Practice starts on Friday at 10.15am
"Is it going to be a crash-fest or international superstars racing against the best Australia has to offer? It could go either way. I think if it's dry the international drivers won't have much of a chance; I'm a believer that dry-running is really where the difference of experience comes in with our cars.
"The biggest concern is that when we make a mistake in V8s we don't just run wide; we generally run a long way off the track. At most tracks you can afford to do that but at the Gold Cost there's no run-off. If they make a mistake, there could be a lot of broken cars.
"I would say we're amongst the favourites this weekend; the team's cars are producing top-five results and, barring the ultimate result at Bathurst, our speed against the field was very strong so I'm optimistic. What also goes in our favour is that we've got Jonesy who will be vastly more advanced than all of the overseas drivers in terms of experience."
Team BOC Co-Driver
"If there's one round other than Bathurst and Phillip Island you could choose as an endurance event, it would be Clipsal and the Gold Coast is along the same lines as that so I'm pretty happy to be here.
"A good car is a good car no matter what track you're driving on. We've just been to three or four completely different circuits and the car's been good at all of them so I can't believe it won't be good here as well. "
The Gold Coast's annual motor racing carnival will in 2010 become a three-day motoring feast, showcasing the excitement and adrenalin of Australia's V8 Supercars with an injection of overseas talent.
The V8 Supercars will race in the Gold Coast 600 competition over two days with a radical new endurance race requiring each team to include one international co-driver within their stable, meaning there will be 18 International drivers in total.
The internationals need to complete 1/3 of the race distance in both the Saturday and Sunday 300km races. The International 'star' drivers will include exceptional Australian overseas racing talent, as well as highly credentialed foreigners.
Brad Jones Racing's international driver is two-time British Touring Car Champion, Alain Menu, who will partner Jason Bright in the Trading Post Racing Commodore.
-source: team boc