Team BOC driver Jason Richards will be without his ‘wing man’ at this weekend’s round of the V8 Supercars Championship Series at Hidden Valley Raceway.
His father Dave, a loyal supporter of Jason’s career and the team’s official race weekend tyre technician, broke his arm in a domestic incident and will miss the race meeting – only the eighth time he has ever missed a race of his son’s 26 year career.
The incident adds to the Richards’ family woes, as ‘JR’ recently broke his nose in an incident at a local park while playing with his two young girls. Despite the facial injury, he has declared himself fit to race.
Last year at Darwin, Richards took pole position, and the television footage of Richards Sr celebrating that achievement is replayed with some regularity.
This year, Dave will be cheering on from the comfort of his couch at home in New Zealand, and Jason is a little disappointed.
“Out of 26 years of racing it’s only the eighth race my dad’s not been at,” he said.
“You love to have consistency as a driver. He’s renowned for his accuracy on tyre pressures so we’re obviously going to miss him from the technical perspective but it’s also a bit like losing your wing man. He’s gutted because pole position last year was a very proud day for him as well.”
Regardless, Richards is hoping he can turn around a mediocre start to the year and strike back in Darwin.
“We’re going to try what we had last year,” he said.
“Obviously it was the best on the day so we certainly can’t turn our back to it. Winning pole position is almost harder sometimes than winning a race. Everyone has a fair crack at it, no one’s wheel nuts get stuck in the pits. The fastest is genuinely the fastest so it was a special day for me.”
Besides the racing, Richards and Brad Jones Racing team-mates Jason Bright and Karl Reindler will attend a military press call at HMAS Coonawarra, Larrakeyah Barracks, Darwin this morning.
Richards will be at the barracks with team-mates Jason Bright and Karl Reindler, the race cars and team transporters for interviews and a photo opportunity.