RICHARDS FINISHES SECOND OVERALL IN OPENING TCM ROUND
15 MARCH 2013
Jim Richards driving the Shannons Ford Falcon Sprint has finished second overall to defending Touring Car Masters champion John Bowe in the first round of the eight round series held at Sydney Motor Sport Park last weekend.
The Top Gear Festival meeting attracted 21 entries for the three TCM races and the leading teams were keen to see if Bowe and his flying Mustang could be beaten after dominating last year.
In early practice on the Friday the Shannons team found the Falcon was running a bit too lean and so changes were made before Saturday’s first practice session where Bowe was fastest in front of Eddie Abelnica in the Falcon ,Richards and then Andrew Miedecke in the Chev Camaro.
Only a tenth of a second separated second to fourth so it was obvious qualifying would be a tight battle which proved to be the case with Bowe fastest and then Richards and Miedecke separated by only three hundredths of a second.
Bowe went onto win the first 18 lap race from Richards with Miedecke less than a second behind and the stage was set for an interesting second race with the grid positions reversed for the top half of the race one finishing order.
Starting from row five Richards managed to work his way through to fourth at the end of 18 laps behind Bowe ,Abelnica and Adam Bressington in his HQ Monaro.
In the final 18 lap race Bowe disappeared into the distance from Miedecke with Richards a lonely third and that was the finishing order.
"It was obvious that I couldn’t do anything about the leaders so it was a matter of maintaining a gap to Greg Crick in the Charger who was a few seconds behind." said Richards.
"Overall we had a very good weekend and the car was fantastic so to come away with a second overall is a satisfying result. It’s going to be a long championship and reliability and consistency will be the key to success." said Richards.
Meanwhile work on the Javelin rebuild programme is well advanced with Marty Brandt’s Independent Race Cars team expected to finish the replacement shell this week.
The donor car has been stripped back to a bare shell minus roof so that the cage from the crashed car could be lowered into position and then various other brackets and components were fabricated using Javelin No 1 as a guide.
"If all goes according to plan the car should be going to the paint shop next week and it will be another couple of weeks before we can start the assembly process." said Richards.
While Richards has no commitments at this weekend’s Grand Prix meeting the following weekend’s are a different story with two visits to New Zealand in the space of a week ,three days of Targa Tasmania reconnaissance the following weekend and then the event itself commencing on the 16th of April.
As an aside the Shannons Porsche GT2 RS tarmac rally car will make an appearance at this weekend’s Grand Prix meeting with Paul Gates from Shannons using it as the pace car for the Historic car parade laps.
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