JIM RICHARDS RETAINS THIRD PLACE IN TCM SERIES AFTER ROUND 3.
18 MAY 2015
The Winton round of the Enzed Touring Car Masters provided mixed results for Jim in the Shannons Javelin but at the end of the three races the seven time Bathurst winner has retained his third place in the Pro Masters class just 26 points behind new series leader Gavin Bullas in the Mustang.
Jim struggled in the two practice sessions with the handling of the Javelin which necessitated a major change to the rear suspension set up for qualifying and it obviously worked as he finished up third behind John Bowe in the new Holden SLR 5000 and Bullas.
“I was really happy with the car in qualifying as it was much improved and it was great to finish up in third spot”. said Jim.
In the first race Jim lost a spot on the first lap to Seton and then later fourth position to Andrew Miedecke which meant he would start from fifth position in race two.
He was actually making ground on Miedecke and Seton as the race progressed but had to back off as there was a lot of diff oil coming from the Seton Mustang making conditions treacherous.
Race two was a rough and tumble affair with Brett Youlden hitting the back of the Javelin forcing Jim to run wide onto the gravel and it took a lap to clean up the tyres.
That gave King, Crick, Freestone and Tilley a chance to go through so it was an unhappy Jim who finished up in ninth place.
“I picked up so much rubbish on the tyres that I had no pace to hold them off so I just had to consolidate my position to the finish”. said Jim.
Youlden did apologise afterwards and fortunately there was very little damage to the Javelin.
Starting from ninth in the third race was always going to be tough but Jim had saved his best two of six tyres for the last race in contrast to some of the others and he immediately started to make up ground working his way through to sixth place at the finish.
“It was a good race and fortunately the guys I was racing played it fair as I knew they would. After the changes we made the car felt really good but there is still room for improvement and hopefully the car will be better for the next round at Darwin”. said Jim.
The eight time Targa Tasmania winner was pleasantly surprised when told that he was still third in the Pro Masters series and that close to the lead.
“I’m very happy with that but I tend not to worry too much about the series points at this early stage especially as there are still five rounds to go”. said Jim.
John Bowe gave the Torana a great debut winning all three races with Bullas finishing second on the day just one point in front of Seton.
Bullas leads the series on 415 points from Miedecke on 401 ,Richards on 389, Crick on 385, Seton on 363 and King on 347.
With only 68 points separating the top six consistency is going to be the key to series success and although Bowe is back on 270 points ,due to missing the second round at Symmons Plains, Nhe clearly has a race winning car that is going to be hard to beat.
The teams will make the long haul to Darwin for round four which is on June 19-21.
The Shannons Javelin is also supported by Porsche, Adrenalin and Leatherman stainless steel tools.