Gentleman Jim Richards came to Australia from his native New Zealand, won hundreds of a wide variety of races against native Australians, yet has been liked for years.
When asked why they called him a gentleman when he raced so hard and was so successful, “Jum” replied “because I always apologise”.
After learning his trade on speedway in NZ he arrived here with his own Sidchrome-sponsored Mustang.
His speed and car kindness saw him picked up by Peter Brock for three Bathurst wins, then by Frank Gardner and BMW for Touring Car and Endurance Championship wins and then by Fred Gibson and Nissan for more Bathurst and Touring Car Championship wins.
With seven Bathurst wins, Jim is second only to Peter Brock’s nine but Jim equals him with 24 finishes. He has the greatest number of Bathurst starts – 35 and, with 33, the greatest number in succession.
Of 23 winners of the Australian Touring Car championship, only four drivers – Whincup, Ian Geoghegan, Dick Johnson and Mark Skaife have won more than Jim.
Keeping his flame well alight, there have been many Porsche drives, including in Targa Tasmania. And now he’s in Touring Car Masters.
That Jim could still be driving as well as he does is amazing when you realise he will be 70 years old this September!