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Two-time Bathurst winner Steven Richards joins John McIntyre

John McIntyre Racing
Media statement
18 January 2012

Two-time Bathurst winner Steven Richards joins John McIntyre Racing
John McIntyre Racing has secured the race-winning talents of expat Kiwi Steven Richards to pilot the team’s second FG Falcon V8SuperTourer.

With nearly 20 years as a professional race driver and six V8 Supercar race wins – including two victories in the famous Bathurst 1000 endurance race – to his credit, Richards is the perfect fit for JMR according to team owner and driver John McIntyre.

McIntyre says he wanted a proven race winner in the second JMR FG Falcon V8SuperTourer. “With Steve we get this winning heritage plus his incredible ability and experience with a range of racecars. This will play a big part in helping JMR develop the best set-up for both race cars in the first season.

“Steve is actually a qualified aircraft maintenance engineer and then became a test driver with Nissan in the British Touring Car Championship,” notes McIntyre. “He’s won the Australian Formula Ford Championship and then enjoyed many successful years in the Australian Touring Car Championship which then became V8 Supercars. Steve raced full-time for several years with Ford Performance Racing, and like me, he’ll be racing for the team at the two key endurance events – Bathurst and Sandown – this year. That makes another good link for JMR.”

Richards says he’s really looking forward to sinking his teeth into the new challenge with JMR, which fits nicely around his commitments in the 2012 City Index Porsche Carrera Cup Australia Championship. Last season Richards established and ran the Laser Plumbing and Electrical and WesTrac-backed Porsche team to finish fourth in a very competitive season won by fellow Kiwi and V8SuperTourer racer Craig Baird.

“The V8SuperTourers Championship will bring a whole new level of professional touring car racing to New Zealand fans,” says the Melbourne-based 39-year-old.

“The concept that has been developed is exactly the right model to take touring car racing in New Zealand to the next level. These cars will be incredibly fast and will bridge the gap and prepare young Kiwi drivers who may dream of driving in Australia’s V8 Supercars Championship someday.

“The quality of drivers and teams will be second to none, and I am naturally incredibly excited to join John and his team at JMR. I’ve no doubt I can make a valued contribution to help build and develop two fast, reliable Ford Falcons that can challenge for race wins right from the outset. JMR has set the benchmark for the past five seasons of V8 racing in New Zealand so I feel pretty honoured to be stepping into their second FG Falcon V8SuperTourer.”

Richards’ first drive in a V8SuperTourer will take place today (18 January) as the team commences a three-day test at their home circuit, Taupo Motorsport Park with the #47 JMR V8SuperTourer which will be raced by McIntyre. Richards will also be able to see the V8SuperTourer that he’ll test and race in February in the team’s new race-shop at the Taupo circuit.

Richards comments: “These three days of testing give me a great opportunity to familiarise myself with the team and get a few miles in the #47 car before the official V8SuperTourer test in February. Other than racing V8 Supercars at Pukekohe and Hamilton, I haven’t done a great deal of driving in New Zealand, so it will be great to learn a few new circuits.”

McIntyre adds: “It’s fantastic to have Steve with us for our first series of test days. He’ll share the driving duties with me across the three days and provide additional vital feedback to our engineer Jason Liefting.”

For the opening V8SuperTourer round at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park over the weekend of 17 to 19 February, Richards’ FG Falcon will carry CRC branding and the number #556.

“CRC has a great heritage supporting New Zealand motor racing,” says Richards. “To carry their distinctive branding on the car is fantastic and I hope to get some strong runs on the board at the first round in recognition of CRC’s support.”

McIntyre is taking a NASCAR-style approach with the #556 car this season. “The car’s livery will change during the year with a different naming rights sponsor for each round.”

More details about McIntyre and his team can be found on www.jmr.co.nz, or follow John McIntyre Racing on Facebook or ‘JohnMcIntyreRac’ on Twitter. Steven Richards can be followed on Twitter via ‘Steve_Richo’.
ENDS/

2012 Race Schedule for John McIntyre Racing
2012 V8SuperTourers Sprint Championship
Round 1: 17-19 February – Hampton Downs Motorsport Park, North Waikato
Round 2: 7-8 April (Easter) Powerbuilt Tools Raceway, Christchurch
Round 3: 27-29 April – Manfeild, Fielding
Round 4: 1-3 June (Queens Birthday) – Hampton Downs Motorsport Park, North Waikato
2012 V8SuperTourers Endurance Championship
Round 5: 10-12 August – Taupo Motorsport Park, Taupo
Round 6: 21-23 September – Hampton Downs Motorsport Park, North Waikato
Round 7: 26-28 October – Final, Powerbuilt Tools Raceway, Christchurch

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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