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Tasman struggle at Queensland Raceway BigPond 400

 

Sunday, July 23, 2006 WHILE they may not have a severely damaged Commodore to repair as was the case after last year's V8 Supercar round at Queensland Raceway, the team at Tasman Motorsport have again had a tough weekend in the BigPond 400 at the Ipswich circuit.

Jason Richards finished 16th for the round and Andrew Jones in 18th on a weekend where neither driver was able to find the same sort of pace generated over the course of the last few rounds of the championship.

The Kiwi could only manage to qualify 23rd yesterday while his team-mate was three spots further back in the order.

Richards managed to move up and finish 17th in the opening race before drama at the start of today's reverse grid second race.

The Harrop Engineering-backed Commodore driver was involved in a first corner accident that resulted in the #3 car running around the gravel trap on the grass and rejoining at the tail of the field.

The 30-year-old resumed and ran out the 45-lap race, but was handed the equivalent of a drive-through penalty (27 seconds) for his part in the incident, and finished 24th.

Starting from 19th for the final event, Richards could only press on and wind up 16th.

He holds down 12th spot in the championship point score.

Meanwhile, Jones' weekend mirrored Richards, with a lack of car speed from the #23 Commodore resulting in a tough weekend.

He improved in Race 1 and was 23rd, finished 20th in the reverse grid race after being delayed by a slow pit stop, and 17th in the final race, chasing his team-mate to the chequered flag.

The team now moves its focus to a circuit it knows very well - Oran Park in Sydney.

Formerly Tasman's test circuit when it was based in New South Wales, it's been the direct opposite to Queensland Raceway for the team in the past and will come in three weeks' time, not soon enough for a team eager to get back up the field.

QUOTEBOOK

Jason Richards (#3 Harrop Engineering/Tasman Motorsport Commodore VZ)
"I guess I kept it on all four wheels this year! It's actually the first year I've got any points at all from this Queensland round since 2003! It's obviously a circuit we haven't come to grips with. For whatever reason we can't get on top of it and we need to improve here.

"But because we are going to Oran Park, a happy hunting ground for us in the past, we aren't exactly moping around. Coming out 16th this weekend is probably almost a reasonable result given the headaches this place has caused us. In the reverse grid race I got hit from behind going into the first corner and the field stopped in front of me. I got the blame but the penalty only cost me a few points, so it wasn't too much of an issue."

Andrew Jones (#23 Harrop Performance/Tasman Motorsport Commodore VZ)
"Queensland Raceway just hasn't been kind to Tasman in the past and it continues after this weekend. We finished better than where we qualified so that's something to take away. The car was really tough to drive in the reverse grid race and I was basically fighting to make it to the finish more than anything else.

"We saved a good set of tyres for the last race and the car was better, but I lost the power steering from about lap eight onwards and it was an effort from there on. We passed a few people on the way through to the pit stop, which was slow and dropped us down the order. We made a few more spots back up and I ran back to follow Jason to the line."

Round 6 Results, V8 Supercar Championship Series - BigPond 400,
Queensland Raceway
1. Garth Tander, #16 Toll HSV DT Commodore VZ, 318 pts
2. Jason Bright, #6 CAT Falcon BA, 294 pts
3. Craig Lowndes, #888 Betta Falcon BA, 288 pts
4. Rick Kelly, #15 Toll HSV DT Commodore VZ, 286 pts
5. Russell Ingall, #1 Caltex Falcon BA, 272 pts
6. Steven Richards, #7 Jack Daniel's Commodore VZ, 254 pts
7. Mark Winterbottom, #5 FPR Falcon BA, 244 pts
8. Paul Radisich, #021 Team Kiwi Commodore VZ, 224 pts
9. Jamie Whincup, #88 Betta Falcon BA, 212 pts
10. Greg Murphy, #51 Supercheap Auto Commodore VZ, 212 pts
16. Jason Richards, #3 Harrop Engineering Commodore VZ, 150 pts
18. Andrew Jones, #23 Harrop Performance Commodore VZ, 138 pts

Drivers Championship Points After Round 6
1. Garth Tander, #16 Toll HSV DT Commodore VZ, 1642 pts
2. Craig Lowndes, #888 Betta Falcon BA, 1604 pts
3. Rick Kelly, #15 Toll HSV DT Commodore VZ, 1597 pts
4. Russell Ingall, #1 Caltex Falcon BA, 1474 pts
5. Mark Winterbottom, #5 FPR Falcon BA, 1435 pts
6. Steven Richards, #7 Jack Daniel's Commodore VZ, 1388 pts
7. Jamie Whincup, #88 Betta Falcon BA, 1258 pts
8. Jason Bright, #6 CAT Falcon BA, 1248 pts
9. Paul Dumbrell, #11 Jack Daniel's Commodore VZ, 1248 pts
10. Mark Skaife, #2 HRT Commodore VZ, 1244 pts
12. Jason Richards, #3 Harrop Engineering Commodore VZ, 1069 pts
20. Andrew Jones, #23 Harrop Performance Commodore VZ, 832 pts

Teams Championship Points After Round 6
1. Toll HSV Dealer Team, 3239 pts
2. Team Betta Electrical, 2862 pts
3. Ford Performance Racing, 2683 pts
4. Jack Daniel's Racing, 2636 pts
5. Stone Brothers Racing, 2282 pts
6. Holden Racing Team, 2136 pts
7. Dick Johnson Racing, 2060 pts
8. Supercheap Auto Racing, 1905 pts
9. Tasman Motorsport, 1901 pts
10. WPS Racing, 1790 pts


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