Bathurst heroes set for Hampton
‘‘It was an easy decision to come over to Hampton Downs.’’
Bathurst conqueror and V8 Supercar hero Jim Richards will be the focus on and off the track at the Hampton Downs annual Festival of Motorsport held at the North Waikato circuit this weekend, January 13-14.
Richards will get behind the wheel of the iconic black and gold John Player BMW635 alongside other period correct Bathurst pedigree cars and play a lead role on stage at a celebratory dinner planned for the Saturday night of the 4Guys Autobarn Legends of Bathurst event.
And it is fitting that one of the stars of the show is a deadset legend around Mt Panorama.
Richards will be joined by a host of other drivers with Bathurst connections including his son Steve, Fred Gibson, John Bowe, Allan Moffat and Paul Radisich.
It is around 25 years since Richards cemented his place in Australasian motorsport history with an unforgettable victory speech from the top step of the podium.
Ford fans were incensed that their hero Dick Johnson was denied the win due to a decision made by the officials and they made their feelings known by booing Richards and his co-driver Mark Skaife on the podium.
Richards is looking forward to sharing his Bathurst memories and getting back behind the wheel of the Peter Sturgeon-owned, ex-Frank Gardner Group C BMW 635 CSi.
‘‘It was an easy decision to come over to Hampton Downs and see some people I haven’t seen for a while and have a drive in a nice car.
‘‘It probably runs better now than it did back in the day. The tyres are better for a start.
‘‘Back when I drove it the tyres weren’t as good as they are now so it’s probably faster now than when I drove it 30 years ago.’’
Richards’ son Steve will climb behind the wheel of an exGianfranco Brancatelli/Johnny Cecotto BMW E30 M3, also owned by Sturgeon.
Another highlight of the Legends of Bathurst festival will be the Bathurst Revival, which will be a chance for cars and drivers that have a connection with Bathurst to race on track.
The Legends on Stage dinner on Saturday evening at Hampton Downs Pavilion promises to be another highlight of the weekend.
Revisit some classic moments from Bathurst on the big screen and hear from Jim Richards, Steve Richards, John Bowe and Paul Radisich about their favourite Mt Panorama memories.
V8 Supercar hero Jim Richards will be the focus on and off the track at the Hampton Downs’ annual Festival of Motorsport on January 13-14.