Perth: Tasman Motorsport preview

Perth Podium A Chance For Tasman Says Richards Leading V8 Supercar driver Jason Richards says a podium finish is a distinct possibility for the rising Tasman Motorsport team at the BigPond 400 at Barbagallo Raceway in Perth this weekend. The...

Perth Podium A Chance For Tasman Says Richards

Leading V8 Supercar driver Jason Richards says a podium finish is a distinct possibility for the rising Tasman Motorsport team at the BigPond 400 at Barbagallo Raceway in Perth this weekend.

The 30-year-old New Zealand native points to a strong first round showing in Adelaide earlier this month as the basis for his confidence.

Richards qualified the #3 GMC/Tasman Motorsport VE Commodore fifth on the grid in qualifying and ran as high as fifth during Race 2 before finishing 13th.

"My car hadn't turned a wheel prior to the first practice session, but it was a fast car straight out of the transporter, and for much of the weekend," Richards said.

"We didn't realise our full potential in Adelaide, but I think we can this weekend."

Richards said while he had qualified well in Adelaide the team's focus was again clearly centred on qualifying.

"Barbagallo is a short track - under 2.5km - and the lap times are quick - in the 55-56 second range - and that makes qualifying extremely important," he said.

"Traditionally we have raced reasonably well at Perth although over the past couple of years we haven't qualified as well as we would have liked - we've been stuck down in 18th or 20th.

"If we can tidy that up a little then I think a podium finish is not out of the question."

Richards' team-mate, Greg Murphy was candid in his assessment of what creates a successful Barbagallo weekend - Murphy having stepped onto the podium four times in nine previous visits to the west, in addition to two further top 10 finishes.

"Perth's pretty simple; it all comes down to how good the car, how well you qualify and not making any mistakes," Murphy said.

Following a promising debut with Tasman Motorsport in Adelaide, Murphy said his new team's between rounds efforts had been race shop concentrated.

"Like just about everyone else, we haven't tested in between races but we have spent a lot of time at the workshop going over the new cars checking everything and make li ttle changes, along with analysing all the data.

"I'm expecting some good things from the new Tasman machinery and if things go accordingly then we should be able to mix it up at the front."

Practice for the BigPond 400 begins on Friday afternoon (WA time) with qualifying and Race 1 Saturday (2.25pm WA time), the final two races taking place Sunday.

Race Format: Three 50-lap (120km) races, with each race including a compulsory pit stop for tyres - the pit 'window' open between laps 17 and 34.

-credit: tm

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Series Supercars
Drivers Greg Murphy , Jason Richards