Jason Richards

Jason John Richards (10 April 1976 – 15 December 2011) was a New Zealand motor racing driver. A multiple championship winning driver in his homeland in the New Zealand Touring Car Championship, he moved to Australia to pursue a career in the Australian-based V8 Supercar Championship Series. Richards career highlights include finishing second three times in V8 Supercar's most famous race, the Bathurst 1000. Richards died at the age of 35, just over a year after being diagnosed with cancer.[1]

Jason Richards
NationalityNew Zealand
Born(1976-04-10)10 April 1976
Nelson, New Zealand
Died15 December 2011(2011-12-15) (aged 35)
Melbourne, Victoria
Retired2011
V8 Supercar Championship Series
Years active2000–2010
TeamsTeam Kiwi Racing
Team Dynamik
Tasman Motorsport
Brad Jones Racing
Starts131
Wins1
Poles2
Fastest laps1
Best finish14th in 2004, 2007 & 2009
Previous series
1985–93
1994
1995
1995

1995–2000

2011
2011
Karts
New Zealand Mini 7's
New Zealand Formula Ford
British Formula Ford Championship
New Zealand Touring Car Championship
Australian GT Championship
Development V8 Supercar
Championship titles
1998/99,1999/00, 2000/01New Zealand Touring Car Championship

Early careerEdit

Richards started his motor racing career at the age of eight in 1985, driving in karting events in his home country of New Zealand. He made his move out of karting in 1993 after 35 championship titles, entering the Mini 7s.

After much success again, Richards was offered the Canterbury Racing School Formula Ford drive for the Nissan Mobil 500 meetings at Wellington and Pukekohe.

After a short stint in the English Formula Ford Championship, Richards returned to New Zealand to sign with BMW Motorsport NZ as junior driver, winning the 1995/96 Class 1 Touring Car Championships for the team, along with nine out of 12 series races.

V8 SupercarEdit

Team Kiwi RacingEdit

Promoted to lead driver, Richards won the next three NZ Touring Car Championships prior to joining Team Kiwi for the V8 Supercar series in Australia in 2001. Battling testing restrictions and the tyranny of distance, Richards finished an extremely creditable 19th in the 2002 V8 Supercar Series.

Team DynamikEdit

Richards moved to the new South Australian Team Dynamik in 2003, putting in some strong results, including a narrow failure to snatch victory in the Sandown 500 from Mark Skaife in the race's dying stages.

Tasman MotorsportEdit

He then made the decision to move to the newly formed Tasman Motorsport outfit in 2004 and has developed into a driver who believes he is capable of standing on the top step of a V8 Supercar podium.

Coming back from a major rollover in the 2005 round at Queensland Raceway,[2] Richards quickly returned to stride and promptly placed the repaired Commodore into the top 10 in the following round at Oran Park Raceway.

His podium results in the Sandown and Bathurst endurance events in 2005 helped cement his place as a ‘coming man’ of the V8 Supercar category. In the 2005 Supercheap Auto 1000, Richards produced a strong performance and came very close to winning the race.

In the following year, Richards won the second of three races at the Winton Motor Raceway, hence gaining his first (and only) V8 Supercars race victory. He finished the season in 18th position.

At the 2007 Bathurst 1000 Richards and Murphy were the best placed Holden team, finishing fourth overall. Surfers Paradise was his best round in 2007 where he finished third overall, and finished 14th in the Championship, with 235 points 15 points behind teammate Greg Murphy.

Brad Jones RacingEdit

Richards joined Brad Jones Racing VE Commodore in 2009, driving the #8 car. (who ran a new race number for the team in V8 Supercars but was the racing number of team co-principal Brad Jones during the team's years racing in AUSCAR and NASCAR at the Calder Park Thunderdome) Richards secured his first V8 Supercar pole position at Hidden Valley Raceway in 2009. Richards finished third at the 2010 L&H 500 with Andrew Jones.[3]

Illness and deathEdit

In November 2010 it was revealed that Richards was admitted to hospital on 16 November and was later diagnosed with an adrenocortical carcinoma.[4] Richards immediately stepped away from racing to devote his energies to fighting the illness with Andrew Jones substituting for the balance of the 2010 season. He continued to race sporadically with guest appearances in the second-tier V8 Supercar series, Australian GT Championship, Touring Car Masters and continued testing with Brad Jones Racing into the second half of 2011. He died on 15 December 2011 at his home.[5]

In 2012 an illustrated documentary of his life was released.

Career resultsEdit

Season Series Position Car Team
1996/97 New Zealand Touring Car Championship 4th BMW 325i International Motorsport
1997 Australian Super Touring Championship 16th BMW 318i CPW Motorsport
1997/98 New Zealand Touring Car Championship 2nd BMW 320i International Motorsport
1998/99 New Zealand Touring Car Championship 1st BMW 320i International Motorsport
1999/2000 New Zealand Touring Car Championship 1st BMW 320i International Motorsport
2000 Shell Championship Series 52nd Holden VT Commodore Team Kiwi Racing
2000/01 New Zealand Touring Car Championship 1st Nissan Primera Team Kiwi Racing
2001 Shell Championship Series 24th Holden VX Commodore Team Kiwi Racing
2002 V8 Supercar Championship Series 19th Holden VX Commodore Team Kiwi Racing
2003 V8 Supercar Championship Series 26th Holden VY Commodore Team Dynamik
2004 V8 Supercar Championship Series 14th Holden VX Commodore
Holden VY Commodore
Tasman Motorsport
2005 V8 Supercar Championship Series 17th Holden VZ Commodore Tasman Motorsport
2006 V8 Supercar Championship Series 18th Holden VZ Commodore Tasman Motorsport
2007 V8 Supercar Championship Series 14th Holden VE Commodore Tasman Motorsport
2008 V8 Supercar Championship Series 17th Holden VE Commodore Tasman Motorsport
2009 V8 Supercar Championship Series 14th Holden VE Commodore Brad Jones Racing
2010 V8 Supercar Championship Series 17th Holden VE Commodore Brad Jones Racing
2011 Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series 29th Holden VE Commodore Greg Murphy Racing
Australian GT Championship 23rd Ferrari 430 GT3 Maranello Motorsport

Complete Bathurst 1000 resultsEdit

Year Team Car Co-driver Position Laps
1997 CPW Motorsport BMW 318i   Brett Riley DNF 125
1998 International Motorsport BMW 320i   Barrie Thomlinson DNF 128
2000 Team Kiwi Racing Holden VT Commodore   Angus Fogg 16th 157
2001 Team Kiwi Racing Holden VT Commodore   Angus Fogg 16th 157
2002 Team Kiwi Racing Holden VX Commodore   Simon Wills 11th 160
2003 Team Dynamik Holden VY Commodore   Simon Wills 22nd 139
2004 Tasman Motorsport Holden VY Commodore   Fabian Coulthard 20th 152
2005 Tasman Motorsport Holden VZ Commodore   Jamie Whincup 2nd 161
2006 Tasman Motorsport Holden VZ Commodore   Andrew Jones DNF 151
2007 Tasman Motorsport Holden VE Commodore   Greg Murphy 4th 161
2008 Tasman Motorsport Holden VE Commodore   Greg Murphy 2nd 161
2009 Brad Jones Racing Holden VE Commodore   Cameron McConville 2nd 161
2010 Brad Jones Racing Holden VE Commodore   Andrew Jones 23rd 157

LegacyEdit

Jason Richards Memorial TrophyEdit

Since 2013, the driver who scores the most points across all races during the weekend of the New Zealand round of the V8 Supercars championship has received the Jason Richards Memorial Trophy. The trophy was introduced when the series returned to Pukekohe in 2013, replacing the Mark Porter Memorial Trophy presented at the Hamilton 400.

Jason Bright and Brad Jones Racing, Richards' last teammate and team respectively, were the first winners of the trophy.[6] In 2015 and 2017, Jamie Whincup, who was a teammate of Richards in 2005 at Tasman Motorsport and co-drove with him to a second-place finish at the 2005 Bathurst 1000, won the trophy.[7]

WinnersEdit

Year Driver Team Car Venue
2013   Jason Bright Brad Jones Racing Holden VF Commodore Pukekohe
2014   Mark Winterbottom Ford Performance Racing Ford FG Falcon
2015   Jamie Whincup Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden VF Commodore
2016   Shane van Gisbergen Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden VF Commodore
2017   Jamie Whincup Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden VF Commodore
2018   Scott McLaughlin DJR Team Penske Ford FG X Falcon
2019   Shane van Gisbergen Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden ZB Commodore

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 February 2011. Retrieved 18 November 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Team BOC profile
  2. ^ "Jason Richards crashes". The Age. 25 July 2005. Retrieved 9 December 2006.
  3. ^ http://www.speedcafe.com/2010/09/12/lowndes-and-skaife-score-big-lh-500-win/ Speedcafe. 12 September 2012.
  4. ^ http://www.speedcafe.com/2010/11/18/jason-richards-sidelined-in-cancer-fight/ Speedcafe. 18 November 2010.
  5. ^ http://www.speedcafe.com/2011/12/16/v8-driver-jason-richards-passes-away/
  6. ^ Phelps, James (14 April 2013). "Emotions run high as a tearful Jason Bright claims Jason Richards Memorial Trophy". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
  7. ^ Bartholomaeus, Stefan (8 November 2015). "Whincup wins, Winterbottom wobbles in Race 30". SpeedCafe. Retrieved 9 November 2015.

External linksEdit