Steven Richards is relishing his new role in Australian motor racing – not pining for his V8 Supercar career – as his Carrera Cup campaign kicks off at Albert Park during this weekend’s 2011 Formula 1 Qantas Australian Grand Prix.
The former Bathurst winner lost his full-time V8 ride at Ford Performance Racing to Will Davison for 2011, but will stay at FPR for the endurance races at Phillip Island and Bathurst later this year. And to keep sharp for the enduros, he has started his own Carrera Cup team – Laser Racing.
According to Richards, the distraction of preparing for Albert Park made watching last weekend’s Clipsal 500 much easier.
“It’s funny, I didn’t know how I’d feel, but I didn’t pine for [V8 Supercar racing],” he said.
“Having the Carrera Cup car has made the transition a lot easier, because there’s been a lot of work involved to get the deal done and then get the car ready.”
Richards is also excited about getting hold of some spanners, and becoming more than just a driver.
“I do enjoy the hands-on approach to racing. The last time I was this involved was back when I was racing V8 Supercars for Garry Rogers Motorsport, working my way up. But I’ve kept tinkering away with my little Ford Escort [rally car], and I always have a hoist in my garage!”
Porsche Carrera Cup qualifying is at 4:50pm.