Symmons Plains: Tasman Motorsport Saturday report

Richards 12th in opening Tassie race Jason Richards has taken Tasman Motorsport's brand new Commodore to 12th spot in today's opening race of the Ferodo Tasmania Challenge at Symmons Plains. The Kiwi driver qualified 14th earlier in the day...

Richards 12th in opening Tassie race

Jason Richards has taken Tasman Motorsport's brand new Commodore to 12th spot in today's opening race of the Ferodo Tasmania Challenge at Symmons Plains.

The Kiwi driver qualified 14th earlier in the day and found himself right in the middle of a first lap accident triggered off by his former team-mate Jamie Whincup, who moved across in front of the following Paul Dumbrell and created chaos behind.

Richards managed to escape any major damage, though was hit from behind in the midsts of the dust and debris, contact that would delay his later pit stop as Tasman mechanics removed a damaged rear diffuser.

The #3 Firepower Commodore suffered a slow pit stop as a result of the diffuser issue as well as a wheel nut that came away from the wheel, and Richards was left outside the top 10.

He fought back and moved up a few spots, crossing the line 12th after a lengthy dice with Cameron McConville's Commodore.

On the other hand, team-mate Andrew Jones had a difficult day that eventually saw him make up ground in the 42-lap race.

While he could only manage the 30th-fastest time during qualifying, the former V8 Development Series Champion also escaped the first lap accident and stayed consistent to wind up in 19th spot, an improvement of 11 positions.

QUOTEBOOK

Jason Richards (#3 Firepower/Tasman Motorsport Commodore VZ) "The first lap crash on the run to the hairpin was definitely interesting! I just drove through the dirt that had been kicked up and virtually came to a stop because I couldn't see a thing. I was doing all of 30 km/h and still passed Brad Jones, who was going even slower! It was quite unbelievable that I made it through all of the drama. Later on in the pit stop I had a right rear wheel nut pop out of the wheel and the crew had to pull the rear diffuser off after I'd been hit from behind in the first lap accident. I had one chance to get past McConville in the latter stages but it would have ended in drama so I settled in to finish the race off."

Andrew Jones (#3 Firepower/Tasman Motorsport Commodore VZ) "There was dust everywhere on the first lap and I thought I was in a scene from the movie, 'Days of Thunder'! From there it was a case of staying out of trouble and we managed to get past a few more cars through the rest of the race. I made up one or two spots from the pits even despite stalling leaving the pit bay and from there I spent a bit of time in traffic. The brake pedal was getting a little bit long by the end of the race but we brought it home a lot higher up the order than where we started."

-credit: tm

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Cameron McConville , Andrew Jones , Brad Jones , Jason Richards , Jamie Whincup