Gold Coast: Tasman Motorsport Saturday report

Fourth for Richards at Indy KIWI Jason Richards survived a touch with former V8 Supercar champion Craig Lowndes in the latter stages of today's opening race in the Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge on the Gold Coast to clinch a well-earnt fourth ...

Fourth for Richards at Indy

KIWI Jason Richards survived a touch with former V8 Supercar champion Craig Lowndes in the latter stages of today's opening race in the Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge on the Gold Coast to clinch a well-earnt fourth place.

The #3 Firepower Commodore driver was running fourth beginning the last of 22 laps when he was nudged from behind by Lowndes' Falcon into the first chicane.

The added momentum meant Richards was forced to run the car through the middle of the chicane, narrowly avoiding what could have been a nasty incident with the awaiting concrete walls.

After qualifying sixth in the Top 10 Shootout earlier in the day, Richards picked up a spot in the early stages of the race when former team-mate Jamie Whincup crashed out in front of him.

A great pit stop from the Tasman Motorsport crew helped launch him past Lowndes when the duo pitted on lap seven and that left Richards to run out the rest of the race.

His team-mate Andrew Jones didn't have a day to remember, copping a drive through penalty for passing Warren Luff and Alan Gurr under yellow flags, a call with which the Melbourne-based driver strongly disagreed.

Forced to carry on at the tail of the field, Jones brought the #23 Firepower Commodore home in 26th spot.

QUOTEBOOK

Jason Richards (#3 Firepower/Tasman Motorsport Commodore VZ) "I went into the first chicane as normal and the data clearly shows that from our car. Lowndes simply nailed me from behind and came down to apologise after the race. It's not the first time he's launched into the back of me and nearly sent me into a big accident. For him to come down and put the blame on me for braking early - he's a fair bit wide of the mark! We're doing 260 km/h down that straight and it could have been nasty. But the Tasman crew did a great pit stop that put us up there and I actually played it a little conservative in the second half of the race because I got given a warning for hitting the chicane markers. I didn't want a drive through penalty so I was a good boy from there on! Fourth is a great way to start the weekend."

Andrew Jones (#3 Firepower/Tasman Motorsport Commodore VZ) "I actually got a pretty good start and moved up a few spots before the officials decided that I should get a drive through penalty for passing under the yellow flags. It was given for passing Warren Luff and Alan Gurr under the yellow flags for the Safety Car but I have no doubt I was passed them at two separate points well before the SC boards came out. It ruined my race and that was that. I had a brake lock up a little later on and ran down the escape road, but that didn't really hurt as much as the penalty."

-credit: tm

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Andrew Jones , Craig Lowndes , Jason Richards , Jamie Whincup , Alan Gurr , Warren Luff