The late Kiwi motor racing star Jason Richards was honoured when his family unveiled the trophy in his name at the ITM 400 Auckland in Pukekohe today.
The Jason Richards Memorial Trophy will be awarded to the driver with the best combined results over the four V8 Supercars Championship races at Pukekohe Park Raceway this weekend.
Wife Charlotte, daughters Sienna and Olivia and Jason's parents were at the unveiling, staged fittingly in the garage of his team, Brad Jones Racing, and flanked by team members and fellow New Zealand drivers Fabian Coulthard and Greg Murphy.
The trophy by well-known artist Frank Watson of Ardmore is a two-sided glass sculpture with black onyx centrepiece and stainless steel arches depicting the fern, set into a native timber base and silver.
"I like it and I think Jason would like it with the chrome and the fern. I love the fact it has Jason's logo on there and I think it will be a spectacular moment on Sunday evening when someone gets to hold this trophy," said wife Charlotte.
"You have the sad thoughts but you've got happy ones too that Jason has been honoured and remembered the way he was."
Organisers received support from the family for the trophy to remember Richards, the Nelson-born V8 Supercars driver, who passed away from cancer 16 months ago.
"There was no New Zealander more proud," Charlotte said. "There was nothing he wanted more than to succeed in the V8 Supercars at home and I know he would be thrilled to see the event return to Pukekohe. To have the trophy named in his honour and to have it presented for the first time in the 50th anniversary of his favourite New Zealand race track is special."
After a successful apprenticeship in New Zealand, Richards was signed to the V8 Supercar Championship for 11 years from 2001, driving for Team Kiwi Racing, Team Dynamik, Tasman Motorsport and finally Brad Jones Racing. He won once in the V8 Supercar Championship and was a three-time podium finisher at the Bathurst 1000.
Tomorrow is the start for the quest for the trophy with qualifying and two 100km races, which is repeated on Sunday.