Jason Richards says that a change in philosophy towards consistent race pace, rather than qualifying speed, will see an overall improvement in his results.
The New Zealander has had a mediocre start to the year, but in the last round at Hidden Valley, the Team BOC driver came on strong by finishing fourth and seventh. It vaulted him to 12th in the V8 Supercars Championship Series.
After ending today’s practice session on top of the times ahead of this weekend’s Sucrogen Townsville 400, Richards says that one-lap speed is not his priority anymore.
“We could do one lap in the past, but the set-ups had been more towards that,” Richards said.
“Our shift in philosophy has definitely helped our race pace.”
Richards led home Jamie Whincup (TeamVodafone) and Garth Tander (Toll Holden Racing team) in today’s combined practice results.
Richards says he didn’t know the true extent of his pace until he strapped on new tyres at the end of the session.
“We threw a set of green tyres at it for today, which we weren’t going to, but we were struggling on the used tyres,” he said.
“We didn’t know how we were placed and the thing hooked up really well.
“I’m much more confident and it is going to mean that we’ll sleep easier tonight. I didn’t get the most out of it, but I’m very confident for tomorrow.”
Richards says that top five results is his aim every time he hits the track in the remaining races of this season.
“We set goals, and we might be able to win one day, but we want to run top five like we did in Darwin,” he said.
“We want that as a consistent result for us. We don’t want to be mucking around in the 20s or the teens. We want top five results, and eventually we’ll win the race. It’s just a matter of time.”
Richards’ team-mate Jason Bright (Trading Post Racing) made it a good day for the Brad Jones Racing team, ending the practice sessions in sixth place.
For today’s full results and more video CLICK HERE.