Next month’s third round of the NZ V8 Touring Car Championship will see the winning driver receive the Jason Richards Memorial Trophy.
Richards was a three-time New Zealand Touring Car champion before moving to Australia in pursuit of the V8 Supercars title.
He would finish runner-up in the Bathurst 1000 on three occasions and was frequently praised for both his competitive nature on the track and his beloved sportsmanship off it.
Richards would sadly pass away in 2011 from adrenocortical carcinoma – an aggressive form of cancer.
To honour his legacy to the sport, since 2012 the Jason Richards Memorial Trophy has been awarded to drivers in NZV8s.
Such was the popularity of the driver amongst his peers there are in fact three trophies.
One is awarded at the New Zealand round of the Repco Supercars Series, with Kiwi winners including Shane van Gisbergen and Scott McLaughlin. While a second is contested at Nelson’s KartSport club.
The Jason Richards NZV8 / New Zealand Touring Car trophy has been previously won by Jason Bargwanna in 2012, 2014 and 2015, with Nick Ross winning it in 2013.
More recently, Australian driver Jack Smith won it in 2019, while there was no challenge for the prize last year.
“Jason was such a great guy and was so hard to beat on track,” Ross said.
“He always had a great persona, and you’d hardly ever not see him smiling.
“When he passed away, a group of us who all raced against him at some stage in our careers wanted to do something in his memory, so we created this trophy.”
There has also been a minor tweak in the race format for the Manfeild round.
A pair of eight lap Sprint Races based on Marble Draws on Saturday now preced the feature race on Sunday, which has been reduced to 40 minutes. Though the longer race still features a Compulsory Pit Stop with a ‘Balance of Performance’ time for all cars to serve in the Pitlane.
Following his feature race win last weekend at Hampton Downs, Tim Edgell currently leads the series on 262 points, with Rob Wallace in second on 225, and Sam Collins in third on 124.
All are vying for the ‘Collins and Sons’ Cup’s which will be presented at the end of the Season to first, second and third in the series along with prize money.
The next round of the NZV8 Series will be at Manfeild, February 12-14.