Richards wins Nations Cup at Australian GP

PORSCHE ace Jim Richards was untroubled to win the third and final leg of the Cleanevent Nations Cup at the Qantas Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne today. Richards took full advantage of a penalty against pole-sitter Paul Stokell to...

PORSCHE ace Jim Richards was untroubled to win the third and final leg of the Cleanevent Nations Cup at the Qantas Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne today.

Richards took full advantage of a penalty against pole-sitter Paul Stokell to take the lead on the third of 10 laps and crossed the finish line 5.8 seconds ahead of second-placed Rusty French, in a Chrysler Viper.

Stokell surrendered the lead in his Lamborghini Diablo when forced to take a stop-go penalty for exceeding an 80 kmh speed limit on the rolling start.

He rejoined in 10th and his fight back to third at the finish, during which he broke the lap record on three consecutive laps, was the drive of the race.

Richards said Stokell=B9s penalty allowed him to overcome the Porsche GT3's performance disadvantage on the ultra-fast Albert Park grand prix circuit.

"It was great to win today after chasing the Lamborghini all weekend. The Porsche is a terrific car, but it=B9s hard work against a V12 Lamborghini on a track like this," he said.

The veteran French drove a spirited race, recording the best Nations Cup result for his American-built Viper.

"The Viper is a much better car this weekend. We=B9ve been allowed some improvements to the brakes and aerodynamics to make us more competitive with the Porsches, Lamborghini and Ferraris and today we were really able to race them," French said.

Scott Shearman was the first in a seven-car Ferrari contingent. He finished eighth, while teammates Cameron McConville withdrew on the start line and Mark Noske retired on the first lap <pre> RESULTS - Race 3 of 3 (10 laps): 1. Jim Richards (Porsche GT3) 2. Rusty French (Chrysler Viper ACR) 3. Paul Stokell (Lamborghini Diablo SVR) - (Fastest race lap - 2 min. 5.195 sec. / 152.488 kmh) 4. Dominic Beninca (Porsche GT3) 5. Greg Keene (Porsche GT3) 6. Peter Fitzgerald (Porsche GT3)

-Chris Nixon

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Cameron McConville , Scott Shearman , Jim Richards , Mark Noske , Peter Fitzgerald , Paul Stokell , Rusty French