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Richards to debut new car at Symmons Plains

 

Tasman Motorsport will wheel out a brand new Commodore VZ for this weekend's Ferodo Triple Challenge at Symmons Plains in Tasmania.

Kiwi Jason Richards will debut the new machine, which has been readied by the team over the course of the last few months but had its preparation accelerated in the weeks since the Gold Coast Indy event.

Despite the VZ Commodore only having three more rounds to go this year before the introduction of the all-new VE Commodore for 2007, the team is eager to debut the new car and test out some engineering modifications made to it over its existing cars.

The car will use the running gear from the #23 car driven by Andrew Jones and by Owen Kelly/Mark Noske in the endurance events. This chassis, the first built by Tasman Motorsport in 2004, will become the team's spare.

While Richards debuts the new car, his existing chassis will now become the #23 car for Andrew Jones to drive for the rest of the season.

The car isn't unfamiliar to Jones, who drove it alongside Richards in the Sandown and Bathurst endurance events.

Kiwi Richards hasn't enjoyed much success at Symmons Plains over the past two years, but is excited by the prospect of an all-new car for this weekend.

"The new car is the story of the week for us," Richards said.

"My car has had more hits than Elvis of late and, while it's repaired and fine for Andrew to now drive, there's some changes in the new chassis that we are wanting to try in preparation for the VE model next year.

"I'm keen to get my hands on it and see how it goes at Symmons Plains. It's going to be a challenging weekend, as it's a new car that hasn't been run before, but we'll soon find out what the new car can offer us.

"It's a big horsepower track and very, very hard on brakes. It really does punish them and Symmons Plains is second only to Indy in terms of the loads that we place on the braking systems.

"The challenge is to ke ep the brakes alive for the whole duration of the race. If your brakes are weak then you open yourself up to being vulnerable, particularly into the banked hairpin."



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