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Richards confident for Winton


V8 Supercar driver Jason Richards is looking forward to this weekend's round at Winton after a successful test day at the circuit.

During a brief visit to Christchurch to contest the ESWA Radiant Heating Kart Endurance Race Richards said he had managed to top the times at a test session at Winton last week where most of the Melbourne based teams were represented.

“Fundamentally, the VE Commodore and the VZ should be the same,” he said.

“It’s not like the road car. [The race car’s] engineering is the same, as is the suspension, running gear and pick-up points – as dictated by the V8 Supercar rules, but [the two Commodore race cars] do perform quite differently.”

“Overall, things are going okay, but obviously I’d like it to be a bit better. I’d say we’re only about 90 percent there with the set-up.”

Richards said Tasman Motorsport’s new engine programme is working well.

“Our new engine programme is up and running with a different guy who has been exposed to what HSV/HRT have been up to,” he said.

“The first new engine was better than what we had last year and there are two or three stages to come. It’s basically a matter of time.”

Asked how the HSV/HRT domination of the early races this season had come about, Richards said those teams had been involved with the official TEGA build programme for the VE and the testing to determine parity between the VE and the Ford Falcons.

“That has given them a bit of a head start, but they have a clever bunch of people. They’ve ticked all the boxes in every area – engine programme, chassis, pitstops and drivers. We’re good in some areas and weak in others and it’s the same with every other team.”

John Hawkins

Auto Trader New Zealand