Bathurst 1000 legend set for first Gen3 laps

Gen3 demonstration laps were first run at the 2021 Repco Bathurst 1000 last December. Pic: Nathan Wong

STEVEN Richards will get his first taste of Supercars’ next-generation machinery when he completes demonstration laps at the Repco Bathurst 1000.

V8 Sleuth has learnt Richards and fellow Bathurst 1000 winner Luke Youlden are set to hop between the Chevrolet Camaro and the newly updated Ford Mustang Gen3 prototypes at Mount Panorama.

Youlden has been a regular when it has come to Gen3 seat time, steering the Camaro at several events this year with Zane Goddard piloting the Mustang.

Goddard though will take a backseat for Bathurst, presumably given he is competing in the Great Race alongside Tickford Racing’s James Courtney, whereas Youlden and Richards will be spectators for the 161-lapper.

Richards, five times a Bathurst 1000 winner, will join a list of more than 30 drivers to have gotten a feel for what to expect from next season’s cars.

Steven Richards (right) and Craig Lowndes after winning the 2018 Bathurst 1000

Every full-time driver on the 2022 Repco Supercars Championship grid has been granted such an opportunity bar PremiAir Racing’s Chris Pither and James Golding.

Pither was due to join then teammate Garry Jacobson at Philip Island in April but was ruled out due to a schedule clash, while Golding only returned to full-time status in July.

Beyond the modern-day regulars, there’s been stars of the past such as Marcos Ambrose and other former full-timers including Craig Lowndes, Jamie Whincup, Garth Tander and Alex Davison.

Youngsters Harri Jones and Bayley Hall also were called on for the preliminary VCAT in June.

A second and final VCAT is scheduled to take place in November, with the Ford now in S650-specification.

The Gen3 demonstrations at Bathurst next Thursday, Friday and Saturday will mark the first laps – at least publicly – since the Mustang prototype’s conversion from S550.

The new S650 Mustang Supercar. Pic: Supplied
Connor O’Brien joined V8 Sleuth in 2022 as website Editor. He won the Supercars Media Award in 2017 while working as a sports reporter at the Gold Coast Bulletin, before stints at Supercars and Speedcafe. During his time at V8 Sleuth he's twice (2022, 2023) been named Journalist of the Year at the Supercars Media Awards.