Richo back behind the wheel

The early September test day signals the beginning of the endurance season – six weeks of hard-fought battles with a hearty 900 championship points up for grabs.

Today, our 2018 co-driver Steve “Richo” Richards joined Craig Lowndes and the crew at Queensland Raceway for a full day of testing and reacquainting ahead of the first endurance race at Sandown next weekend.

“We started off a little bit bumpy this morning, we had a few little technical issues, but we managed to overcome that really quickly,” said Lowndes.

“It was good to actually have the test day and find those small issues early on. Since then the car has been going great and I’m looking forward to Sandown now.”

Richo cut 88 laps (39 more than CL) to gain some familiarity with Lowndesy’s 2018 car setup before the two joined the crew for a number of hot pit stop practices, including driver changes.

“From my perspective it’s always a good day to jump in the car and get some good long run miles, reacquaint yourself with where the buttons are, do some pit stop practice and get everything right and ready to go,” said Richo.

“The good thing is that Craig and I don’t change anything at our pit stop, we don’t need to change the seat so it’s quite easy like that, it works well.

“It just comes down to us re-remembering what we did last year and getting that right and making it efficient and effective.”

The endurance season can bring a variety of car setup changes including the roll out of new components and Lowndesy took the opportunity to work through these today with car #888 race engineer John McGregor.

“I think we’ve made some great progress over the course of the day. We’ve wanted to do this day to test some new components which have been very valuable, so that’s been a real positive,” continued Lowndes.

“Richo put down a lot of miles on the car which is important going into Sandown, I have a lot of confidence and am really looking forward to it.”

“Today is really just about system stuff and getting back into a routine ready for Sandown,” added Richo.

The team will undergo a debrief at the workshop tomorrow before a big week of preparation for Sandown.