Penalty takes podium finish away from Richards at Albert Park An opportunistic manoeuvre in the opening corner of the first race of the Panasonic V8 Supercar event at Albert Park has helped propel Jason Richards to his first podium...
Penalty takes podium finish away from Richards at Albert Park
An opportunistic manoeuvre in the opening corner of the first race of the Panasonic V8 Supercar event at Albert Park has helped propel Jason Richards to his first podium finish of the 2006 season.
However, race officials deemed Richards to be guilty of careless driving in the first corner of the race and applied a 30-second penalty that dropped him to 28th place.
The Kiwi started from seventh, though got his Sleepyhead Commodore away to a great start, weaving through the traffic and slicing his way through to second spot at the opening corner.
He lost a spot on the exit of the corner to Mark Skaife but from there hung onto the podium result for the duration of the 10-lap distance.
Former team-mate Jamie Whincup applied pressure to Richards, though made a major error and speared off the road while chasing the Tasman car on the penultimate lap.
While Richards tasted champagne, his team-mate Andrew Jones wasn't as fortunate. Starting from 19th, his #23 car was belted into a spin at turn four on the opening lap by Warren Luff's Britek Falcon.
Jones resumed at the tail of the pack, recovering a few positions to finish 23rd.
Jason Richards (#3 Sleepyhead/Tasman Motorsport Holden Commodore VZ)
"It's such a shame to cop that penalty. I certainly didn't think I was out of control heading into the corner. The brakes weren't locked up, I didn't have the car out of balance and I made it around the corner without firing off the road.
"I got an amazing start and I didn't want to waste it so I dived up the inside to try to make the most of it. Todd had gone but before I knew it I was in some clear air, but I just ran a bit wide and Skaifey managed to get through.
"The good thing was, we showed good speed out there, and we had good speed in Adelaide.
"Yesterday we had good laps going until one of the Fords blew up in front of me, but I just continue to be amazed by the Tasman Motorsport team and the car they keep providing me. "It just reinforces that we are a very competitive team and we'll be gunning above my expectations. We're probably in a position to go for the championship and I certainly didn't believe that would be the case over Christmas. You can't deny the performance of our cars, so we're going to have to go for it."
Andrew Jones (#23 Sleepyhead/Tasman Motorsport Holden Commodore VZ)
"I got through the carnage on the run to turn three when James Courtney bounced off the concrete wall and made up some spots.
"But then at turn four I got turned around by Luff, which was pretty average really. So that left us solely to march around and see what else we could learn about the car. I passed a few cars legitimately and then the appearance by the Safety Car helped us catch up to the tail of the pack.
"I managed to pass Holdsworth and Morris to make up a few more spots but it was one of those days not really worth writing home about!"