less sophisticated 325i set-up – and a 10bhp engine upgrade. On the sweeping Gold Coast track, Richards was in his element and won again.
BMW’s title hopes were battered at Sandown when Richards’ engine failed on the last lap – he’d been forced over a curb at the start, which bent the alloy sump and damaged the oil pick-up – but a searing JPS BMW 1-2 at Amaroo created a final-round title showdown with Glenn Seton at Oran Park.
“If Glenn beat me he won the championship, and if I beat him I won the championship,” Jim remembers with a grin.
“After the first lap we were down in fifth because I’d been alongside Larry and he just pushed me off the track and I had to come back. George (Fury) and Glenn bolted, then halfway through the race it started to sprinkle with rain and I was going a lot faster than them. I caught them up and passed George, then I ran into Glenn to pass him, but not deliberately; down at turn two he locked up and went sideways, so I just nipped in there and he caught it up and we came together. I hit him just behind the front door. I carried on; it bent the steering a little bit I think, but bugger-all. Glenn popped a turbo anyway.”
And so Jim Richards was crowned for the second time in three years as touring car champion for JPS Team BMW. The little M3 really was a giantkiller.
Lakeside Amaroo Park Oran Park