Shane van Gisbergen has described winning the Jason Richards Memorial Trophy as a ‘special’ achievement.
He was presented the trophy by Jason Richards’ father, David, and joined on the rostrum for the podium photographs by Richards’ daughters, Olivia and Sienna.
“Obviously it’s pretty, pretty special, especially having Jase’s daughters up there,” said van Gisbergen.
“It was a hard moment but a special one and as I said (on Saturday), seeing his parents every morning has been pretty cool, then Charlotte (widow) and the kids today; it was pretty awesome.”
This year’s Pukekohe Supercars event is the second time that van Gisbergen has won the trophy commissioned in memory of his late fellow Kiwi, having also done so in 2016.
The tally matches that of fellow Red Bull Holden Racing Team driver Jamie Whincup, who shared a podium with Richards at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 during his year at Tasman Motorsport in 2005.
Whincup was also a strong chance of winning the Jason Richards Memorial Trophy for a third time in five years given that he took up the initial lead in Sunday’s Race 24 before the controversial Safety Car.
“Obviously sad for our team as well; Jamie was on for a good result and not sure what happened there, but (I have) won the JR before and it’s pretty, pretty special to do it again and then keep it in the hands of the New Zealanders is awesome as well.
“It’s awesome to race in his memory every year and seeing the mock-up of his car parked there every morning you walk into the paddock, it’s a cool feeling.”
With Scott McLaughlin having unofficially won the event last year, the Jason Richards Memorial Trophy has now been won by his compatriots or former team-mates in six of the seven Pukekohe race weekends since its inception.
Jason Richards Memorial Trophy winners
|2013||Jason Bright||Brad Jones Racing|
|2014||Mark Winterbottom||Tickford Racing|
|2015||Jamie Whincup||Triple Eight Race Engineering|
|2016||Shane van Gisbergen||Triple Eight Race Engineering|
|2017||Jamie Whincup||Triple Eight Race Engineering|
|2018||Scott McLaughlin||DJR Team Penske|
|2019||Shane van Gisbergen||Triple Eight Race Engineering|