1998 AMP Bathurst 1000 Win­ner

Rickard Ry­dell/Jim Richards #40 Volvo S40 Rac­ing Volvo S40 Chas­sis – R8-002

Australian Muscle Car - - Cars That Won Bathurst -

Af­ter rac­ing the 850 model wagon then sedan in Aussie Su­per Tour­ing, Volvo stepped it up in 1998 and im­ported an S40 for Jim Richards to drive in the lo­cal se­ries.

How­ever, for Bathurst the fac­tory TWR-run Volvo team brought out a pair of its Bri­tish Tour­ing Car Cham­pi­onship cars (R8-002 and R8-003) for The Great Race, pair­ing Richards with Swede Rickard Ry­dell and Brit Tim Har­vey with an­other Swede, Jan Nils­son.

Ry­dell and Ital­ian, Gianni Mor­bidelli, had been the works driv­ers dur­ing that year’s BTCC and the for­mer be­lieves his Bathurst car to have been raced by Mor­bidelli dur­ing the sea­son.

“I’m not sure if he ran it all sea­son or just some races, but I have a vague mem­ory of him chang­ing cars through­out the year but I’m not sure,” Ry­dell told AMC.

Ei­ther way, the Bathurst cam­paign would re­sult in vic­tory for Ry­dell and Richards in the #40 en­try, en­dur­ing a day-long fight with the Nis­san Primera driven by Brit Matt Neal and Jim’s son Steven – who at that stage had been test driver for Nis­san’s BTCC pro­gram.

The Volvo led a to­tal of 83 laps to claim the first win (and so far only!) for a five-cylin­der car in the his­tory of the Bathurst en­durance race.

But per­haps the most amaz­ing achieve­ment from that weekend was Ry­dell’s stun­ning pole po­si­tion lap when he cranked a 2m14.9265s time with mil­i­tary pre­ci­sion from the front-wheeldrive, 300-horse­power S40 that was a whop­ping 1.4878s faster than the next-best car!

The #40 S40 claimed pole po­si­tion, vic­tory and the fastest lap of the race to fin­ish what had been a stun­ning year for the man­u­fac­turer.

“I’ll al­ways re­mem­ber the Bathurst 1000 win with Jim Richards as very spe­cial, es­pe­cially since be­ing at such a fa­mous race and be­ing the great­est track of all!” Ry­dell says to­day.

“Jim was also a re­ally nice guy to share the car with, I had real fun. The qually lap was of course very spe­cial.”

The Bathurst-win­ning car re­mained here in Aus­tralia for the fol­low­ing sea­son with Jim Richards driv­ing as part of a two-car team in

the lo­cal Su­per Tour­ing se­ries.

Bat­tling Paul Mor­ris’ pri­va­teer BMW and the works Audis, Richards claimed 10 race wins in the 1999 se­ries and six pole po­si­tions but missed out on claim­ing the ti­tle when he was pipped by just six points by Mor­ris.

The car re­turned to Bathurst for the mod­i­fied Bob Jane T-Marts Bathurst 1999 fes­ti­val of rac­ing on the Oc­to­ber long weekend with a 100-kilo­me­tre qual­i­fy­ing race on Satur­day and a 500-kilo­me­tre race on Sun­day.

Cameron McLean was signed to part­ner Richards, who won the Satur­day qual­i­fier to claim pole for Sun­day. How­ever, the wet weather con­di­tions made it a mis­er­able day and the front-wheel drive S40 strug­gled to get front tyre tem­per­a­ture in the con­di­tions.

McLean didn’t get to drive in the race, as it was red-flagged af­ter 50 of the sched­uled 81 laps with Richards in sec­ond place, and a mas­sive amount of run­ning be­hind the Safety Car, which turned it into more of a pro­ces­sion than a mo­tor race.

That was the car’s last race as Volvo pulled out of Su­per Tour­ing at the end of 1999 and the chas­sis was shipped back to Swe­den and re­stored by Sport­sPro­mo­tion.

Volvo then pre­sented the car to Rickard Ry­dell as recog­ni­tion of his on-track ef­forts for the man­u­fac­turer and it then re­mained in the Bil­sports Mu­seum in Karl­skrona, Swe­den in 1998 BTCC-like liv­ery.

Ry­dell tells us it’s now in the garage of Johnny Har­alds­son, who used to work on the Volvos in the Scan­di­na­vian Tour­ing Car Cham­pi­onship se­ries, and has been that cat­e­gory’s scrutineer for quite some time.

“He is go­ing through the car to make it ready to run,” Ry­dell told us.

“It should not be too much work, but there was a few things miss­ing and since it’s not been run for quite a few years it has to be stripped. Daniel Rein­hard, a Volvo fan from Swe­den, is help­ing Johnny to get the car ready.”

While Su­per Tourer ‘his­toric’ rac­ing is on the rise in Eng­land (they’re sup­port­ing the cur­rent BTCC at some events this year!), Ry­dell has no plans for the car for this year but may do a demo run at the his­toric Knut­storp Re­vival meet­ing in Swe­den in May this year.

Ei­ther way, there aren’t too many Bathurst 1000-win­ning driv­ers who own one of their first-placed cars, so it’s great to know that the Su­per Swede now has the very Volvo that once con­quered the Moun­tain.

2014

Mal­lala 1999

Calder Park 1999

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