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Jason Richards loses battle with illness

Despite fighting bravely since last November, V8 Supercar star Jason Richards has lost his battle with illness.
The V8 Supercar series is leading the tributes to Jason Richards, who has succumbed to the cancer that sidelined him for the 2011 season.

The popular Kiwi slipped away peacefully on Thursday night after a long battle with Adreno Cortical Carcinoma. The disease was first discovered just over a year ago and, despite a brief return to the cockpit in Melbourne this season, Richards had been confined to fighting off-track throughout 2011.

Born in Nelson, New Zealand in 1976, Richards made his V8 debut with Team Kiwi Racing at Bathurst in 2000, but quickly established himself as a popular frontrunner, nicknamed 'Racin' Jason' by his peers for his ability to pull out amazing pace over qualifying laps.

In his brief career, Richards starred at 131 V8 Supercars Championship rounds, comprising 284 races, and appeared for Team Dynamik, Tasman Motorsport and Brad Jones Racing/Team BOC as well as Team Kiwi. His last championship appearance came at Symmons Plain in 2010 before the Kiwi took leave to fight for his health. Although he took just one series victory - at Winton in 2006 - and six podium finishes, he finished as runner-up at Bathurst three times in 13 starts.

"In the competitive world of V8 Supercars, Jason was a rare breed – a driver that could tread the fine line between rivalry and friendship," a statement from Brad Jones Racing read, "He was never secretive, selfish or bad-tempered and had endless enthusiasm and energy for his job and team.

"The history books will not do him justice. Given the right equipment JR was easily a frontrunner, but chose team loyalty over personal gain, determined to work with his crew to reach the front of the grid together.

"Through the highs and lows of racing, JR's uplifting presence and casual, self-effacing wit were unwavering and his effect he had on team morale is irreplaceable.

"He will forever be a member of the Jones family and this is a tragic day in the team's history."

Despite the open battle he was facing, Richards could not keep away from the track and added to his non-championship appearances with an emotional return at the Australian GP in April, remarkably qualifying in fifth spot before leading race two and eventually finishing second on the road.

As well as taking part in a number of co-driver practice sessions earlier in the year, the Kiwi also won on a one-off appearance in the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series in Adelaide, and appeared in both the Australian GT and Touring Car Masters series, claiming second at Bathurst in October in the latter.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Jason Richards (Aust) #10 Holden Monaro  Autobarn Touring Car Masters Round 5 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 Bathurst NSW Australia
Jason Richards  (NZ), #8 Team BOC  VE Commodore  2011 International V8 Supercar Championship Event 9  L&H 500 Phillip Island   Race  19  Phillip Island Vic Australia
Jason Richards (NZ),  #8 BOC Gases BJR VE Commodore  2011 International V8 Supercar Championship Event 6, SkyCity Triple Challenge  Races 12&13  Hidden Valley  Darwin
Jason Richards (Aust), #14 Team BOC  VE Commodore  F1 Qantas Australian Grand Prix V8 Supercars Albert Park 400 Races 1, 2 & 3 Non-Championship Round Albert Park Melbourne VIC
Cancer suffering V8 Supercar driver Jason Richards will benefit from bid4jase.com
Jason Richards windscreen banner in support of Bid4Jase ,  #8 BOC Gases BJR VE Commodore  2011 International V8 Supercar Championship Event 3, ITM 400 Races 5&6 Hamilton  NZ
Jason Richards (NZ),  #8 BOC Gases BJR VE Commodore  2011 International V8 Supercar Championship Event 5,  Races 10 & 11  Winton  Victoria
Jason Richards (NZ),  #8 BOC Gases BJR VE Commodore  2011 International V8 Supercar Championship Event 5,  Races 10 & 11  Winton  Victoria
Jason Bright  (Aust) #8 BOC Gases BJR Commodore

V8 Supercars Australia
Event 9 Sydney Motorsport Park 360, Races 18 & 19
Sydney Motorsport Park
Eastern Creek, Sydney
New South Wales
Aust
Jason Bright  (Aust) #8 BOC Gases BJR Commodore

V8 Supercars Australia
Event 9 Sydney Motorsport Park 360, Races 18 & 19
Sydney Motorsport Park
Eastern Creek, Sydney
New South Wales
Aust
Jason Bright  (Aust) #8 BOC Gases BJR Commodore

V8 Supercars Australia
Event 9 Sydney Motorsport Park 360, Races 18 & 19
Sydney Motorsport Park
Eastern Creek, Sydney
New South Wales
Aust
Jason Bright  (Aust) #8 BOC Gases BJR Commodore

V8 Supercars Australia
Event 9 Sydney Motorsport Park 360, Races 18 & 19
Sydney Motorsport Park
Eastern Creek, Sydney
New South Wales
Aust
Jason Bright  (Aust) #8 BOC Gases BJR Commodore

V8 Supercars Australia
Event 9 Sydney Motorsport Park 360, Races 18 & 19
Sydney Motorsport Park
Eastern Creek, Sydney
New South Wales
Aust
Jason Bright  (Aust) #8 BOC Gases BJR Commodore

V8 Supercars Australia
Event 9 Sydney Motorsport Park 360, Races 18 & 19
Sydney Motorsport Park
Eastern Creek, Sydney
New South Wales
Aust
Jason Bright  (Aust) #8 BOC Gases BJR Commodore

V8 Supercars Australia
Event 9 Sydney Motorsport Park 360, Races 18 & 19
Sydney Motorsport Park
Eastern Creek, Sydney
New South Wales
Aust
Jason Bright  (Aust) #8 BOC Gases BJR Commodore

V8 Supercars Australia
Event 9 Sydney Motorsport Park 360, Races 18 & 19
Sydney Motorsport Park
Eastern Creek, Sydney
New South Wales
Aust
Jason Bright  (Aust) #8 BOC Gases BJR Commodore

V8 Supercars Australia
Event 9 Sydney Motorsport Park 360, Races 18 & 19
Sydney Motorsport Park
Eastern Creek, Sydney
New South Wales
Aust
Jason Bright  (Aust) #8 BOC Gases BJR Commodore

V8 Supercars Australia
Event 9 Sydney Motorsport Park 360, Races 18 & 19
Sydney Motorsport Park
Eastern Creek, Sydney
New South Wales
Aust

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igdu - Unregistered

December 16, 2011 11:15 PM

Sadly Jason's plight didn't recieve much coverage outside of australia (I think the story about casey stoner driving a car getting more comments than this sad new speaks volumes). Its a real shame when anyone is faced with such a terrible illness - but to have fought to the end with such good humor, in the public eye with no hint of self pity shows what a class act Jason Richards was. Its only fitting that during his battle he was able to retain an amount of normality, and continue to do what he loved -drive racecars. As well as recieving so much support from all the V8 supercar community, even though its a series where the fans are so polarised between red and blue. The only positive I can offer is that he is no longer in pain. I would also like to suggest that if you can afford to do so - please make a contribution to cancer research. My thoughts are with Jason and his family. RIP Jason.



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