RICHARDS WRAPS UP TCM PRO-MASTERS TITLE AT PHILLIP ISLAND.
26 NOVEMBER 2013
Despite a tough weekend at Phillip Island without a top three result Jim Richards is the winner of the 2013 Touring Car Masters Pro-Masters title as a result of consistent results throughout the eight round championship.
It was a fitting result for the 66 year old driver who won the outright TCM title in 2010.
Driving his faithful Shannons Falcon Sprint Richards qualified a lowly 18th in the wet qualifying session only completing four laps due to a fogging up issue inside the car.
“I had trouble working out where the corner apexes and braking points were because the windscreen fogged up so bad and it was the best I could do in the conditions”. said Richards.
He made a very good start in race one making up a number of positions but unfortunately got caught up in an incident when Greg Keene spun his Porsche and there was contact between the two cars.
While damage was confined to the front of the Falcon Richards went onto finish 15th despite the delay in trying to avoid the contact.
Richards then drove back to his Melbourne base to collect a replacement front bumper bar so the car would be looking it’s best for the Sunday’s two races.
In the second race he worked his way up to finish 10th and in the third and final race he finished 8th despite a heart stopping near miss when Tony Karanfilovski and Mark King made contact in front of him on the main straight and spun in the path of the Falcon.
It was almost a case of déjà vu reflecting back to the Sandown round last year when Karanfilovski spun in front of the unsighted Richards who crashed the AMC Javelin into the stationary Falcon GT.
On that occasion the Javelin was so badly damaged that the shell had to be discarded and Richards is still in the process of finishing off the new car for season 2014.
At the presentation on Sunday night Karanfilovski told the assembled crowd that when he looked up as he was going backwards down the circuit the first car he saw coming towards him was the Shannons Falcon and his first thought was “Oh no not Jim” which caused plenty of laughs.
Richards also made the point that it bought back memories of the incident at Bathurst when Andrew Miedecke and Glenn Seton made contact and spun in front of him.
On that occasion he was able to brake and work his way through without making contact and apart from picking up some errant styrene from a destroyed track side sign in the brake scoop there was no damage.
Reliability and consistent results were the key to a successful year with the Falcon Sprint finishing every one of the 24 races which included two firsts ,six seconds ,six thirds ,two fourths and two fifth places.
As far as round results were concerned Richards and the Falcon stood on the podium six times recording five seconds and one third.
“The car was fantastic all year and I really must thank Bruce Tyson, Mick Webb, Russell Wollard and Brian Gelding for a great effort in making sure the car was spot on all year”. said Richards.
As far as the outright Touring Car Masters title is concerned that will be advised in due course.
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