Home' V8X Supercar Magazine : Aug Sep 2016 Issue 94 Contents 58
Bathurst 1000 Edition
As good a preparation as the teams now do and all the
data they have and all of the resources that are available,
when you’re in the car yourself you still have to make
the right decision at the right time. And the right deci-
sion sometimes isn’t about going flat out.
From my perspective, the co-driver role is more
important than ever and I know I don’t just turn up and
drive for those weekends. I work pretty hard on going
over previous races and making sure that, like it or lump
it, I make a contribution to the team in terms of what I
feel the car’s doing.
How much of that they take onboard I don’t know,
but I like to make sure that if I have anything sitting on
my shoulders – whether it’s the crotch belt being too
tight or the drink straw is too short or whatever – it’s
important to make sure you tick all your own boxes.
You still have to be above-averagely quick, though,
Sure, but you have to pick those moments. Being fast in
the first stint when the car’s not working for you is not
the time to be trying to set lap records.
If I look back at last year, there were periods at
Sandown, Bathurst and the Gold Coast where I was
like, “Okay, I’m going to really press on hard and try to
set the fastest lap of the race.” But then there are other
times where you weigh up the situation and go, “Well,
no, this isn’t the time to be doing that; this is the time to
be trying to save a bit of fuel or managing something.”
The race isn’t just won on the track. It’s won off the
track as well and there’s a lot that you can do to help
influence that as a driver. So, yes, you do have to be
able to be fast when called upon to do it, but mostly
it’s about exercising restraint. It’s harder than ever. We
have the best touring-car drivers in the world driving
these cars and you still have to shape up.
You also have to be adaptable and be prepared to
swallow your own pride, don’t you? You have to
adapt to the main driver’s preferences and your
job is to assist him, so it’s not all about you.
No, it’s not. But I’m in the perfect situation because
Craig and I sit in the same seat, we don’t have to adjust
the belts and what we want out of the car is identical.
So it’s perfect because every session is valuable feedback
to help the car perform better if it’s not performing as
good as it can. Craig and I want the same things in terms
of what we’re asking for from the car.
That’s interesting because from the outside you
appear to have contrasting driving styles. He’s
flamboyant and you’re not.
I probably don’t stand on the throttle quite as hard
as what Craig does, but I’m wanting that exact same
feeling. I want the thing to turn on a dime and I’d rather
deal with it on the exit than have the thing planted. So
the way the car is for Craig is absolutely spot on for me.
Recently experienced full-time drivers
are very much in demand by the
top teams and are being signed
earlier and earlier. It’s a seller’s
market, isn’t it?
It is, but it’s not about money. For
me, it’s always been about being
in the best team possible to get a
result and in order to do that you
have to be driving regularly.
I’ve been lucky enough to be
able to set my course to be able to
drive in a competitive champion-
ship every year and that keeps you at
a level where you’re in demand by the
teams who are looking for co-drivers that
can jump in and be competitive, as well as having
a lot of racing experience.
I don’t always get it right, but I probably get it right
95 per cent of the time. I know what teams are looking
Fraternising with Foges
GARRY ROGERS MOTORSPORT
STONE BROTHERS RACING
FORD TICKFORD RACING
FORD PERFORMANCE RACING
TRIPLE EIGHT RACE ENGINEERING
ABOVE: Father and son
teamed up three times in
the Bathurst 1000, pushing
for the win in 2004 with
IF I COULD BE
HALF THE DRIVER
HE WAS, THAT
WOULD BE GOOD
V8X94 p56-61 Steven Richards.indd 58
21/07/2016 1:10 pm
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