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Richards says he needs to find qualifying pace


Simon Richards says he has to qualify further up the grid at Manfeild this weekend and in subsequent rounds.

February 15, 2007 NZ V8 driver Simon Richards knows one thing for certain as he heads into this weekend’s championship round at Manfeild – he has to make a much better fist of qualifying the Ambi-Pur Ford Falcon.

Richards was satisfied with his pace during timed practice in the last round, at Taupo in January.

He was 14th fastest which put him into the top group for the following day's qualifying session (the V8s qualify in two groups to give cars more track room and a better chance of setting a quick lap time).

But things didn’t go so well in qualifying, and he ended up 24th on the grid.

"I've been a little disappointed with my qualifying and not getting the times when it counts" he says. "If I had qualified at Taupo in 14th instead of 24th it would have made the weekend so much easier. I've just got to do a hell of a lot better in qualifying."

Richards said he didn’t have such a good Manfeild round last tear, and says it’s a track which provides plenty of racing incidents because of the high number of overtaking areas.

"Generally it hasn't been kind to me, but it's just another track... lots of opportunities to pass there which means you always have to be on your guard trying to get past people and keeping other people out.

"It's probably the track where you get the most carnage because it's the one with the most opportunity to pass.”

Assessing his season at the half-way point in the championship, Richards says he believes he has shown “a little more potential this year and a bit more speed at times. We just need to be able to stitch it all together and it will come.

"Things are just not going our way but it's got to come around eventually."



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