AUS: Bathurst pre-race notes: family history

The Bob Jane T-Marts 1000 is the favourite event of the season for most of the Australian Carrera Cup drivers set to embark on Bathurst from October 7 to 10, but for two drivers it holds long and significant family memories. Rodney Jane, whose...

The Bob Jane T-Marts 1000 is the favourite event of the season for most of the Australian Carrera Cup drivers set to embark on Bathurst from October 7 to 10, but for two drivers it holds long and significant family memories.

Rodney Jane, whose father Bob won the inaugural 'great race' in 1963 known then as the Armstrong 500 Miles, and Jim Richards, who has won the 1000km endurance seven times while son Steven has won it twice, have great memories of that motor racing mecca - Bathurst.

Both Rodney and Jim will take on the 6.213km Mount Panorama circuit in round eight of the Australian Carrera Cup in a tremendous field of 26 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars.

For Rodney, who also heads up the national Bob Jane T-Marts chain, it will be a busy 2004 Bathurst campaign. Bob Jane T-Marts is the Naming Rights sponsor for the event as well as his entry in the Carrera Cup.

And father Bob will be close to the action hoping Rodney can put in his best round result of the year. Currently Rodney sits ninth in the championship with a best round placing of fourth at Eastern Creek back in April.

Bob won the inaugural 500 Mile race at Bathurst in 1963 with Harry Firth in a Ford Cortina GT and then backed it up by winning it again in 1964 with George Reynolds. Bob's name is synonymous with motor racing and Bathurst, also winning back-to-back touring car titles in 1962 and 1963, then repeating the feat in 1971 and 1972.

"Rod and I thoroughly enjoy coming back to Bathurst each year. It holds very fond memories for me with my success during the inaugural years of the enduro, and now with Rodney's campaign in the Carrera Cup," said Bob.

"There are so many great things associated with the Event but the consistency and reliability of the mountain to bring out the best in every driver, year after year has ensured a prestige unsurpassed in any other motorsport contests.

"I always look forward to seeing Rod in action especially at Bathurst where our name has such historical significance."

For Jim Richards, the annual motor racing sojourn began in 1974 -- the first of 31 consecutive years in the 1000km endurance, last year doubling up with the Carrera Cup.

The Richards name is now listed in nearly every statistic associated with the Bathurst race.

^Õ 2004 marks Jim's 33rd start in the Bathurst endurance race -- the most of any driver. ^Õ This year will also be Jim's 31st successive year in the great race starting in 1974 -- also the most of any driver in history. ^Õ Jim has won seven Bathurst 1000 events (1978-80, 91-92, 98, 02). Son Steven's two wins (98-99) takes the Richards' family tally to nine. ^Õ Jim won the first of his seven in 1978 with Peter Brock in a Holden Torana A9X ^Õ In the Carrera Cup, Jim won its inaugural round in Bathurst last year en route to winning the Carrera Cup championship ^Õ Jim holds the Carrera Cup qualifying and race lap records around the Mount Panorama circuit

"Bathurst is obviously very important to me and the family. If you look through the facts and figures associated with the race, that just shows what it has meant to me over the years," said Richards.

"As a race, it is really no more important than any other, and I treat it as just another race. It's part of the path to the championship.

"But it is a race like no other -- one that provides an opportunity for recognition even if you haven't done that well through the whole season.

"I'm really looking forward to partnering Steven in the V8 Supercars, and also doing the double in the Carrera Cup. Bathurst is a track that showcases the Porsche at its best."

Bathurst is also a special place for the Quinn family of racers. Father Tony and 22-year-old son Klark have accumulated some fond memories in their journeys to Bathurst.

Tony had his best race finishing position in the Australian Carrera Cup at Bathurst last year, placing third in the final race for an overall round position of five. Klark scored his best overall round position in the Carrera Cup at the same time, finishing one place above his father in fourth.

A month later Tony and Klark were in the VIP Petfoods team that placed second in their class in the Bathurst 24 Hour race.

Other Carrera Cup drivers will historical attachment to Bathurst include Charlie O'Brien and Peter Fitzgerald.

O'Brien has had 20 starts in the 1000km endurance race in a long and distinguished touring car career, and also took out the 1992 Bathurst 12 Hour race.

Fitzgerald was the victor in the 12 Hour race a year earlier, the same year he finished fourth in the 1000km enduro. He also won the 1998 Bathurst 3 Hour GTP race.

Currently in the 2004 Australian Carrera Cup, young gun Alex Davison leads the championship from inaugural 2003 series champion Richards and rookie star Fabian Coulthard.

Round eight of the 2004 Australian Carrera Cup -- the Bob Jane T-Marts 1000 begins with practice and qualifying on Thursday October 7, race one on Friday October 8, race two on Saturday October 9 and race three on Sunday October 10.

'Trackside' on Network Ten will telecast this round of the Carrera Cup on Sunday November 7 at 2pm (check local guides).

The Carrera Cup is the most successful 'one make' championship in the world with close-to-identical Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars built by Porsche' racing arm in Weissach, Germany set for racing in 2004. All cars have a top speed in excess of 300 kilometres per hour with a 400-horsepower, 6 cylinder Boxer engine which revs to 8000 RPM.

-cupcar.au-

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Series Porsche
Drivers Jim Richards , Rodney Jane , Fabian Coulthard , Bob Jane , Peter Brock , Peter Fitzgerald