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HomeNewsBathurst 1000 legend’s stern defence of TCR

Bathurst 1000 legend’s stern defence of TCR

TCR Australia does not get the credit it deserves in the Australian motorsport landscape, believes five-time Bathurst 1000 winner Steven Richards.

Richards’ father Jim is an icon of Australasian motorsport, and son Clay is now trying to live out his own dream.

Having not been able to secure the necessary budget to be racing in Supercars’ feeder series, Clay is entering TCR on a round-by-round basis and holds third in the standings after three rounds – 23 points adrift of leader and fellow son-of-a-gun Ben Bargwanna.

The competition has seriously impressed the vastly experienced Steven Richards, who admitted to frustration around the series being somewhat maligned for its grid sizes.

“Okay, it would be great to have five more cars, but if you look at the quality of the competitors and the drivers and the teams that work in the series, it’s outstanding,” he told V8 Sleuth.

Clay Richards in action. Pic: Carl Cox Motorsport

“The racing this year from the series has probably been equal to or better than any other category in the country.

“Obviously it’s always harder to find if you’re not on a Supercars event, but the TV is good now – you can direct your supporters to a free-to-air television channel or streaming service and it’s easy to get.

“And value for money, I mean we all know motor racing isn’t cheap, but it’s one of the more cost-effective when you look at the value for money where you genuinely do get your race distances, you genuinely do get a fantastic quality of driver where I know that Clay is actually improving his driving by being in this environment because the competitors are so good.

“It just ticks a hell of a lot of boxes from my perspective.

“If you’re a young guy coming out of 86s or Excels, it’s that next level if you’re trying to make some sort of career out of it. It’s possible to do and it’s a great series.”

Steve, Clay and Jim Richards. Pic: Supplied/Daniel Kalisz

Richards also pointed to the fact TCR Australia was the only such regional competition to defeat the World Tour contingent last year in either qualifying or race mode.

Will Brown won two of three races at Sydney Motorsport Park, while the SMP and Bathurst pole positions went to Bargwanna and Tony D’Alberto respectively.

“It didn’t happen anywhere else in the world,” said Richards.

“So again, it shows to anyone from the outside looking in that if you can succeed in TCR Australia, you can take that skill level to anywhere else in the world and know that realistically given a good shot, you’ll be competitive.”

Round 4 of TCR Australia will take place at The Bend on May 31 to June 2.

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