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Jason Richards' Column, July 1.


Muzzle taken off drivers’ mouths

July 1, 2007, 1.30pm. V8 Supercar Australia’s brief in Darwin to all drivers, team and PR managers, and series journos, that it was now open slather in regards to drivers’ opinions of each other received a quick workout following Race 1 at Hidden Valley, on June 23.

Newspapers across Australia screamed ‘Morons’ after Will Davison started an accident that took out five cars, including my teammate Greg Murphy’s Airnorth Holden Commodore.

What Will did was stupid and ‘moron’ was probably the right word for the moment. It wasn’t a good example of driving, particularly on the first lap of the weekend.

Brief or no brief, both Murph and Russell Ingall, who was also taken out, would have spoken out anyway – that’s their nature – but it sure got the press going over here in Oz.

There’s nothing the media likes better than a bit of controversy and I think you’ll find a few more drivers will be braver with their chat since there’s no threat of a fine hanging over their words.

Though our full potential again wasn’t realised in Darwin, I can’t complain about finishing eighth overall for the round, nor our biggest points haul and moving up two places in the championship.

I was delighted with how I drove in Race 1. After being spun by James Courtney on the first turn I was able to drive back through the field and finish 10th. It was an effort which come the end of the season might make the difference in where we finish.

But for now 15th in the championship doesn’t reflect the speed we’ve shown.

I’m currently ranked sixth in qualifying over the first six rounds, and while I’m chuffed with my outright pace my season is just beginning now and results are mandatory and not optional.

We have two weeks between now and when the Tasman Motorsport truck is loaded for Queensland and between races the team will be looking to improve our Commodores using the data gathered, and implement the next stages in development to try jump further up the field.

Cheers, JR

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