Jason Richards is looking to be right on the pace at Pukekohe.
By Tasman Motorsport driver Jason Richards
March 29, 2007, 3.30pm.Though some experts doubted whether Holden’s all-new VE Commodore would be competitive on the track, the first two rounds of the 2007 V8 Supercar Championship have put to bed those thoughts.
Sadly for me, it’s been the factory HSV Dealer and Holden Racing Teams that have been doing all the winning and not Tasman Motorsport, although we have shown some good signs of performance and competitiveness.
Last weekend’s second round in Perth wasn’t the best for me; I had a huge crash early on in practice on Friday with Jason Bright. It put him out for the weekend, and my team was up until 3 o’clock Saturday morning fixing the #3 GMC Commodore.
Apparently Bright had some sort of engine problem and slowed up pretty fast, so I went to the inside to get past him. For some reason, he decided to cross back over the track which I didn't expect. My closing speed was so great that it was all over pretty quick. It was a hard hit and all a bit pointless really.
To then qualify 12th was a good result, but the track time lost due to the accident hampered us in the races, while we also had a couple of poor pitstops. By the end of Race 3, I had enough points to finish 14th for the weekend.
My teammate, Greg Murphy, finished eighth overall and while we haven’t yet had the results we really want, Tasman Motorsport is sitting seventh in the Team’s Championship and is the best performing Holden team outside the four factory cars.
To close the gap we need track time to enable us to further develop our set-ups, along with some extra development pieces.
The good news for our team and loyal supporters is that we’ll be testing before Pukekohe, and we’re expecting the first of our new generation Holden Motorsport engines in time for then.
Pukekohe is important for Tasman Motorsport, it’s our home race, and there couldn’t be a better venue for us to kick-start our year and take a huge step forward. Murph has had great success there in the past, winning on four occasions, and we are all keen to do well.
Photo captions: the Tasman crew works on the damaged VE. Jason racing at Perth.
Jason Richards’ column is exclusive to NZ Auto Trader magazine and autotrader.co.nz.