Tasman's Richards Claims Podium, Murphy Sixth Tasman Motorsport has experienced its most successful V8 sprint round ever, with Jason Richards claiming a podium finish in third and Greg Murphy sixth overall in a day of drama in the V8 Supercar ...
Tasman's Richards Claims Podium, Murphy Sixth
Tasman Motorsport has experienced its most successful V8 sprint round ever, with Jason Richards claiming a podium finish in third and Greg Murphy sixth overall in a day of drama in the V8 Supercar Challenge on the Gold Coast.
Richards' result betters Tasman's previous equal best sprint round finishes - fourths in Shanghai ('05 - Whincup), Darwin ('06 - Richards) and Winton ('07 - Murphy), while two cars finishing in the top six is also a team best - Tasman finishing third overall in team points for this, the 11th round of the '07 championship.
After strong performances Friday and Saturday, both Firepower Tasman Commodores were again on the pace in today's two concluding races, with Murphy fourth and Richards sixth in the earlier 27 lap contest.
The two were then running nose-to-tail early in Race 3, with Murphy on his way to a certain podium, but when an early Safety Car period was called he missed his pit bay when called to make his compulsory stop.
Richards, preparing to queue up behind his team-mate and likely to lose track position in doing so, swooped, a quick stop effectively vaulting him two spots ahead in the pack.
Murphy recovered from a subsequent late stop to finish in the points in 13th, Richards battled his namesake, Steven Richards, over the closing laps to finish the race second and earn his podium for the overall round result.
"It was a story about the little guy not giving up; we had good pace throughout the weekend, but a touch with the wall in qualifying put me back in the pack. We knuckled down and finished tenth in Race 1, sixth in Race 2 and second in the final," said Richards.
"The crew work has been fantastic, the pit stops equally strong and Murph and I have good car speed now, so we're looking forward to the last three rounds and having a real dip at the championship in 2008."
Despite sixth being his second best sprint round of the year - and second best since finishing on the podium at this same round in 2005 - Murphy was bitte rly disappointed with today's final outcome.
"There's nothing really to say; I didn't see the pits, I just missed it completely. Jason's podium was great for the team, but sixth for me is a very disappointing result for the effort everyone put in," said Murphy.
Toll HSV Dealer Team's Garth Tander won the round despite receiving a drive-thru penalty for hitting Murphy exiting pit lane in R3 - the clear on-track advantage Tander held lost when Murphy failed to stop, arriving as Tander was leaving his pit and causing the touch.
Ford's Jamie Whincup then spun out of the race lead. He then appeared to have recovered enough positions to claim the round win, but again spun when jostling for another position just three laps from home - Whincup's Falcon then hit by the ensuing traffic and failing to finish.
Tander has now closed Whincup's points lead to just nine points, while Murphy and Richards are 13th and 14th in the driver standings, Tasman seventh on the teams table.
The next round, the 12th of the 2007 V8 Supercar Championship, the Desert 400, takes place at the Bahrain International Circuit in just under two weeks time.