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13 MAY 2013

The second round of the Touring Car Masters championship at Barbagallo in Western Australia proved to be a successful weekend for Jim Richards in the Shannons Falcon Sprint with a victory in race three and second place overall for the round.

Richards finished third and fifth in the two practice sessions and a solid fourth in the one qualifying session behind surprise pole man Michael Almond in the Porsche 911 and John Bowe and Keith Kassulke.

The Porsche had been updated to a 3.6 litre engine and bigger wheels making it an outright contender and Almond made the most of it by winning the opening race in front of Bowe, Kassulke and Richards.

The second race as usual was a reverse grid for the top ten finishers from race one and Almond again demonstrated that he will be a front runner in the future by charging through the field to win his second race.

Richards started from grid six using the same tyres he used in race one and that’s where he finished as some of the others had fitted new tyres for the race.

Under the TCM regulations the teams are allocated a maximum of four new tyres plus two previously used and marked tyres for the meeting.

The Barbagallo round was always going to be about tyre management as all the turns except one are right handers meaning the left hand side of the car is doing the majority of the work.

Richards had saved two new tyres for the final race which he put on the left hand side of the car and that gave him a small advantage over the others.

He went onto win the race in front of Andrew Miedecke and Greg Crick and finish the weekend second overall on 150 points which was just 7 behind round winner Miedecke and 19 ahead of John Bowe in third.

Any chance that Almond would score a clean sweep for the weekend was lost when the car suffered drive shaft problems on the warm up lap.

Bowe now leads the eight round championship on 317 points with Richards on 309 and Miedecke on 307 and Crick on 247.

“Overall we were very pleased with the result and apart from a small issue with some oversteer early in the meeting the car was fantastic”. said the 2010 TCM champion.

“Obviously running the smaller 289 engine it’s difficult to pass the larger capacity cars on the straights so you have to make the most of what you’ve got under brakes and in the corners”. said Richards.

The next round of the championship will be at Hidden Valley on June 14-16 and should favour the larger capacity cars due to having one of the longest straights on the championship calender.

Meanwhile work on the rebuilding of the AMC Javelin is progressing with the car now fully painted and ready to have all the components from the crashed car transferred over.

“I don’t expect the car to be ready to race until later in the year as we don’t intend to rush the rebuild. I want to make sure the car is 120 percent ready to race before we bring it out”. said Richards..

Without giving anything away Richards hinted that there could be a surprise when the new car is unveiled.

“The Falcon is serving us well at the moment and there is no reason why it can’t be competitive until the Javelin is back on track”. said Richards.

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