An emotional Steven Richards has described his Porsche Carrera Cup Australia title win as the fruit of four years of hard work.
The son of Kiwi racing legend Jim Richards secured his first championship for 20 years after coming through a tense final round at the Castrol Edge Gold Coast 600.
Having won the Australian Formula Ford title in 1994, Richards has carved out an impressive career in Australian motorsport that has included three Bathurst 1000 victories.
However, a second major championship win had eluded him until this year’s Carrera Cup title which has arrived after four years of trying.
It also ends a run of four consecutive Carrera Cup titles won by Craig Baird.
“It feels really good,” an emotional Richards told Speedcafe.com.
“There has been a lot of hard work gone into this from everyone in the team and I have to admit I’m a bit emotional.
“Its been four years in the making, we have worked really hard this year to try and put all the right pieces in place and we have got the right group of guys together over the last three years.
“We have had great support from Laser Group and BP and all of our sponsors.
“I couldn’t be happier. It’s been a tough year of ups and downs but here we are holding the trophy.
“It would have been nice to have won championship when I was in V8 Supercars but it didn’t quite work out.
“I still love racing cars and hopefully I will be around for a few more years yet.”
The title triumph also created a little piece of history as he followed in the footsteps of his father Jim, who won the same championship in 2003, ensuring they are the first father and son pairing in the world to win a Carrera Cup title.
“I never thought about it,” added Richards.
“Dad has been a Porsche ambassador for many years for me the only real option to go motor racing was with Porsche once I stopped driving full-time.
“We have had a few years of Crag Baird domination and he is a fantastic driver but it was really nice to seal it with a new 991.”
Richards has been backed by electrical and plumbing firm the Laser Group for each of his Carrera Cup campaigns, with the company boss Steve Keil particularly pleased with the result.
“Its fantastic, he has worked really hard for four years to achieve this result,” said Keil.
“He is excellent to work with and he works very hard for our brand and that is reciprocated by our franchises who come out to corporate events.”
Richards has already issued a warning to the field for next season as he plans to be back on the grid for a fifth year in the category.
“We will be back again next year and we will try and tackle a few of these young blokes that are coming through the ranks,” said Richards.