Clash ruins Richards' shot at Winton podium Suspension damage caused by a clash with another competitor has ruined Jason Richards' shot at a podium result in this weekend's fourth round of the V8 Supercar Series at Winton. After qualifying a...
Clash ruins Richards' shot at Winton podium
Suspension damage caused by a clash with another competitor has ruined Jason Richards' shot at a podium result in this weekend's fourth round of the V8 Supercar Series at Winton.
After qualifying a career-best third in the #3 SEW-Eurodrive Commodore for Tasman Motorsport, the New Zealander got squeezed into by one of the Jack Daniel's Commodores on lap 11 and the subsequent contact damaged the suspension.
Fellow Holden driver Garth Tander had spun at turn one after exiting pit lane. Richards closed in on the slowing JD car through the dust kicked up by the spun car, and moved to the right on the exit of turn two, only to have the black machine pull to the right to block his run.
The contact caused Richards' car to launch off the ground as the wheels on the two machines interlocked. It bent the tie rod (a part of the front suspension) and he lost three laps while the crew repaired it.
Richards re-joined and finished 27th. He will start from second on the grid for tomorrow's opening race, a reverse grid format.
It's the second time this year Richards has started from the front row in the reverse grid race after a race one problem.
There were further problems on the other side of the Tasman garage with an engine problem halting the progress of Andrew Jones' #23 SEW-Eurodrive Commodore.
The 25-year-old qualified 17th on the grid after struggling in Friday practice and had settled into a decent race pace.
After being held up by the slower Falcon of Will Davison in the early stages that subsequently pitted, Jones carried on, electing to pit later than the majority of the field.
He was running 15th and closing in on Steve Owen's Commodore when the engine problem forced him to the pits on lap 26 of 34.
Tomorrow's two races will be run at 11am and 3pm. Each will be over 46 laps and will involve a compulsory pit stop for tyres.
Jason Richards (#3 SEW-Eurodrive/Tasman Motorsport Commodore VZ)
"I got a really good start, but those in front of me (Bright and Dumbrell) didn't and that allowed Lowndes to get a run around the outside of me and I was boxed in. Our pace was definitely quick enough to run at the front and it was certainly stronger than Dumbrell. We were getting held up behind him so decided to pit but we had a bit of a problem with the right rear tyre that delayed us. When the incident occurred with the Jack Daniel's car I wasn't really intending to make up spots, but he'd slowed to the point where he was in first gear, though, me being behind, I had more momentum and was in second gear. So I had the run on him out of the corner but he moved right into me and the damage was caused. The team did a really good job just to get me back out there and be classified as a finisher to try and salvage something."
Andrew Jones (#23 SEW-Eurodrive/Tasman Motorsport Commodore VZ)
"We were moving on through the field for the majority of the race. I was going to pit at the end of lap nine because I was being held up behind Davison, though he peeled off to the pits and that gave me some clear track, so I stayed out. Once he'd done his pit stop he was miles behind us, so that proved how much I was being held up. I ran longer than most people to my pit stop, so my tyres were fresher at the end of the race and I was catching the group in front when the engine problem happened on the run down the back straight. There was no point in doing anything other than heading straight to the pits."