Richards completes remarkable comeback in Oran Park Top Ten Shootout Jason Richards has returned to V8 Supercar racing in style by pushing his repaired ...
Richards completes remarkable comeback in Oran Park Top Ten Shootout
Jason Richards has returned to V8 Supercar racing in style by pushing his repaired #3 Dodo Commodore into the top 10 in qualifying for round eight of the V8 Supercar Championship Series at Oran Park on the outskirts of Sydney.
The New Zealander, who rolled out dramatically of the last round at Queensland Raceway, pushed the team into a brilliant third-fastest position in initial qualifying before being the 10th fastest in the Top 10 Shootout.
It was a brilliant fight back from the Melbourne-based team, who have spent three weeks rebuilding his Holden Commodore to make this round in time.
"To have the car third fastest in qualifying was just awesome," said Richards, who is driving with a go-kart rib protector this weekend to nurse his cracked rib suffered in the Queensland Raceway accident.
"It's remarkable that we had so much pace. From practice to qualifying the car changed quite a bit in its characteristics but we lost our way in the Shootout.
"It was very tailey on the hot lap so it's disappointing not be able to back up being in the top three as we were in both practice and qualifying.
"Overall though, it's such a great result for the team after the major rebuild. It's been a massive effort from the entire group and there's a degree of satisfaction today for the results we've been able to achieve.
"My ribs aren't hurting so much, but in the two-hour practice session I had a bit of discomfort. Once the adrenalin is pumping though you drive through it."
Richards in fact spent the majority of the two-hour practice session in the morning as fastest of all before being knocked back in the closing stages of the session.
Team-mate Jamie Whincup struggling with car setup today but made good gains in qualifying, breaking into the 1m08s bracket and missing the Top 10 Shootout by only 0.18s.
He initially had struggled with rear grip but worked away at improving the balance of his #23 Dodo Commodore to clock the 14th fastest time.
"We were fifth fastest in practice earlier in the day but I always knew qualifying would be tougher," said Whincup.
"We struggled with rear grip though made the car better. We were close to a spot in the Shotoout but not close enough.
"Being right in the middle of the pack could make it a busy day tomorrow!"
Tomorrow's round will be made up of two 54-lap races, each of 140 kilometres. There will be a compulsory pitstop in each.