RICHARDS FINISHES THIRD AT SYDNEY MOTORSPORT PARK
5 OCTOBER 2012
Jim Richards has finished third in his Shannons AMC Javelin in round five of the Touring Car Masters series which was conducted at the revamped Sydney circuit over the Fathers Day Muscle Car Masters weekend.
In the twenty minute qualifying session Richards finished third behind series leader John Bowe and Andrew Miedecke but at the start of race one he made a bad start and found himself back in eighth position going into turn one.
Over the next ten laps Richards worked his way through the field and at the finish was up to third place behind Miedecke and Bowe.
Race two on the Sunday was a reverse grid for the top ten from race one and while Bowe continued his winning form to win the race from Andrew Miedecke Richards had a tough battle with Eddie Abelnica before settling for a frustrating fourth place.
The Shannons team had been making changes to the Javelin over the course of the weekend to try and improve the car ,which was suffering from understeer, and there was hope that the car would be better for the final ten lap race.
Bowe again charged into the lead with Richards and Miedecke following and while Bowe again stretched out a gap the Miedecke Camaro and the Javelin pressed on to battle for second place before a safety car intervened which closed up the field.
The final positions were Bowe ,Miedecke and Richards and that’s how they finished for the round.
Going into the next round at Sandown on September 14 to 16 Bowe leads the series on 785 points from Richards on 678 and Miedecke on 629.
After the event Richards confirmed that the car had not been handling to his liking.
“We were suffering from excessive understeer all weekend and obviously we have some work to do before Sandown”. said the multiple Bathurst 1000 winner.
Subsequently the team found a problem with the front suspension and with that rectified the car should be more competitive at the Melbourne circuit.
The weekend was not over for the Touring Car Masters competitors who lined up for a ten lap Australia versus New Zealand battle for the Trans Tasman Touring Car Trophy race.
For this race the TCM cars were allowed to remove any performance weights they had been given and were allowed to run a new set of tyres to even the gap to the NZ cars which have a more liberal set of regulations.
As is the norm Bowe disappeared into the distance leaving a squabbling pack consisting of Paul Stubber ,Richards ,Miedecke and New Zealander Shane Wigston in his mega horsepower HQ Holden battling for second place.
On the last lap Bowe ,who was way in front ,lost a rear wheel which damaged the axle housing and he was forced out leaving Wigston to take a narrow win from Richards and Miedecke.
The good news was that the Australian contingent accumulated sufficient points to take home the trophy.
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