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Richards is fastest Kiwi


An off-course excursion ruined Jason Richards’ chances during today’s V8 Supercar practice session while teammate Greg Murphy chased a mystery problem on the second Tasman Motorsport Holden Commodore.

.April 20, 2007, 6pm. Jason Richards says dirt being dragged on to the racetrack by cars clipping corners will be a major factor in this weekend’s Australian V8 Supercar races at Pukekohe.

Richards struck dirt on the track early in today’s practice session, damaging the car and bringing out the red flag. He was third-fastest at the time.

The car was repaired for part two of the two-segment session, and Richards almost came to grief on dirt again.

“Our shunt created a drama (for the team which had to repair the car for segment two), and I nearly got caught out again,” he said.

“Dirt being dragged on to the track will be a major problem this weekend.

“(But) it’s early days, and we will try to bridge the gap (to the fastest cars) overnight.”

Richards was 13th fastest, with a lap of 56.2470 seconds. Todd Kelly has put his HRT Commodore on pole with a lap of 55.7719s.

Richards is better off than teammate and four-times Pukekohe round winner, Greg Murphy.

Murph, nicknamed the King of Pukekohe, is struggling with a car problem he’s finding difficult to pinpoint.

His best lap is one second off the pole pace, enough to drop him to 23rd.

“We lost the first hour (of the two and a half hour practice session) chasing an unhappy feeling with the car,” the Pukekohe crowd favourite said.

“I don’t know what it was, but it is very strange and difficult to pinpoint.

“So we got behind and are now struggling for speed.”



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