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22 September 2009

The most experienced man to have ever contested the Bathurst 1000, Jim Richards is returning to take on the Mountain once again.
A notable absentee from last year’s on-track action ended Richards’ incredible streak of 34 consecutive years in the driver’s seat at Bathurst, but the spry 62 year old will be back in force this year doing double duty in the Biante Touring Car Masters and Australian GT classes.
Heading over from New Zealand, Richards first visited Mount Panorama to do battle in the 1974 Bathurst 1000 and subsequently contested every 1000km race until his last run in the main event in 2006.
Racking up 35 consecutive starts, Richards holds the record for the most starts in Australia’s premier motorsport event and has won the Great Race seven times (1978-80, 1991-92, 1998 and 2002) alongside Peter Brock, Mark Skaife and Rickard Rydell.
Joining the Biante Touring Car Masters in 2007, Richards continued to be a crowd pleaser at Mount Panorama in a V8-powered 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS.
After sitting on the sidelines for the first time in 2008, Shannons-backed Richards will this year be one of the busiest drivers at the track as he juggles his time between his classic 1964 Falcon Sprint and 2006 Porsche GT3 997.
Effectively running fourth in each series, Richards will be racing in round six of the Biante Touring Car Masters and round five of the Australian GT Championship at Mount Panorama, Bathurst (NSW) on 8-11 October.
“Rod Coppins and I came over from New Zealand to race the 1974 Bathurst 1000. From then I raced every Bathurst 1000, including the Super Tourers, until 2006 when I stepped out of the main game.
“I obviously enjoy Bathurst, it’s a fantastic circuit and after not racing there at all last year I’m looking forward to getting out on track again to run in the Biante series and the GT3’s.
“The biggest challenge for me racing in two categories will be the scheduling; I’ve got a few sessions that are one straight after another, so there’ll be some quick changes to jump from one car to the other, but we’ll work that out.
“Running a ’64 Falcon and a Porsche 997 will be great fun, they’re two totally different cars; the Porsche is very nimble and precise, but I think the Falcon will probably be more fun as it slides around.”

1978 Hardie-Ferodo 1000 Jim Richards Peter Brock Holden LX Torana A9X SS 163 laps
6h 45m 53.9s
1979 Hardie-Ferodo 1000 Jim Richards Peter Brock Holden LX Torana A9X SS 163 laps
6h 38m 15.8s
1980 Hardie-Ferodo 1000 Jim Richards Peter Brock Holden VC Commodore 163 laps
6h 47m 52.7s
1991 Tooheys 1000 Jim Richards Mark Skaife Nissan Skyline BNR32 GT-R 161 laps
6h 19m 14.80s
1992 Tooheys 1000 Jim Richards Mark Skaife Nissan Skyline BNR32 GT-R 143 laps
6h 27m 16.22s
1998 AMP Bathurst 1000 Jim Richards Rickard Rydell Volvo S40 161 laps
6h 54m 23.4756s

The Biante Touring Car Masters is proudly supported by Biante Model Cars, Rare Spares, Shannons Insurance, Hoosier Tires and official charity RSPCA Australia.

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