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Wednesday, 31 August 2016 00:00

Fraternising with Foges: Gun of a son, Steven Richards


Four-times Bathurst 1000 winner Steven Richards hasn't rested on his laurels since retiring from full-time Supercars racing, as he explains in an in-depth discussion about his career with Mark Fogarty in the latest 'Fraternising with Foges' in V8X Supercar Magazine issue #94.

Issue #94 is on sale now in stores with the digital edition available in the official V8X app (in the App Store and Google Play), online at DigitalEdition.V8XMagazine.com.au and in the Magzter app store.

CLICK HERE for more information on V8X Supercar Magazine issue #94.

Richards slumps in the fold-up chair relieved that the ordeal is over, "I hate talking about myself." He's genuinely uncomfortable with speaking at length about his transition from Supercars stalwart to elite part-timer.

Yet despite his unease, Richards has engaged in a candid conversation that reveals a steely resolve belying his understated image. He may not like talking about himself, but when called upon to do so he undertakes the task with the same sort of quiet determination as his racing.

Richards might be self-effacing but he is more assertive than he appears – on and off the track. He is not flashy but he is effective. You don't survive in Supercars for close to 20 years, drive for top teams and win four Bathurst 1000s unless you have inner drive and talent. Nor do you overcome the blessing/burden of being the son of legend Jim Richards.

Unlike most second-generation drivers, Richo junior hasn't raced in the shadow of his father, establishing his own identity. Since retiring from full-time racing in Supercars at the end of 2010 he has created a successful second phase of his career as a prized co-driver in the endurance races and a burgeoning team owner, running in the Porsche Carrera Cup and Australian GT racing.

Melbourne-based Richards, 44, has won two of the past three Bathurst 1000s – in 2013 with Mark Winterbottom and last year with Craig Lowndes – more than a decade after his initial back-to-back triumphs at Mount Panorama in 1998/99 with Jason Bright and Greg Murphy respectively.

He is again paired with Lowndes in Triple Eight's TeamVortex entry – a combination that must rank among the favourites, representing the unequalled combined experience of 10 Bathurst 1000 victories.

CLICK HERE for the 2016 Pirtek Endurance Cup field.

Meanwhile, Richo junior formed Steve Richards Motorsport (SRM) in 2011 to contest the Carrera Cup – keeping his hand in as a driver while laying the foundation of his long-term future as a team owner. He won the title in 2014 and parlayed that success into securing a factory-backed deal to field a pair of BMW M6 GT3s in the booming Australian GT championship.

There is nothing pretentious about Richards, just as there's nothing showy about the venue for the extended interview.

No plush motorhome or glitzy entertainment marquee. Just a small annex behind the SRM Team BMW's space in the GT paddock tent, sitting on outdoor chairs at a trestle table amid parts and provisions.

CLICK HERE to purchase the print edition of V8X Supercar Magazine issue #94 to read the full interview with Richards.