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In 2012 he graduated to V8 SuperTourer Series and it wasn’t long before the rising star was on the podium finishing third overall in the endurance rounds and eighth overall for the inaugural 2012 series ensuring all drivers knew that this rookie meant business. Richard now races in the M3 Racing team, alongside New Zealand team-mates and mentors Greg Murphy and Paul Manuell.
Richard sees himself as an athlete in a team sport and being involved in a hands-on way is commonplace. Reaching speeds of 270km/hour this sport is not for the faint hearted, so having ‘Murph’ as your mentor, professionalism rarely seen in a young man and a calm and measured approached – are all essential assets Richard possesses.
In 2013, only his second year as a V8SuperTourer competitor, Richard finished second overall in the V8 Endurance Championship won by Ant Pederson with Greg Murphy finishing third and Scott McLaughlin fourth. In the Overall Championship he finished fourth up four places from his rookie year in 2012. In the 2014 V8 Sprint Series Richard’s season finished strongly beating Greg Murphy to finish first in what motorsport commentators called ‘the race of the season’. Richard also placed third overall for the championships.
He completed a Bachelor of Commerce from Canterbury University in 2013, the last few years have been challenging post-earthquake, having lectures in tents complete with a river of water rushing through and a flat affected by both earthquakes. Despite pleas to return home to Auckland, Richard continued to study and live in Christchurch as it was his way of supporting the city that had embraced him as an eager student and racing car driver. Having graduated he is now working in Auckland in various contract marketing roles that he is able to fit in around the V8SuperTourer Series.
While no one deliberately goes out to be a ‘role model’, Richard is concerned about the growing number of young guys killed or seriously injured in cars where reckless driving, speed and drinking are factors. He has recently joined the KartSport New Zealand Board, the youngest member to be appointed. He hopes the role will allow him a chance to give back to the sport that opened up so many opportunities for him and to encourage more youngsters, particularly boys to channel that passion and need for speed into an environment that is constructive and safe.
Having lost a close family friend to breast cancer Richard is a supporter of the charity Sweet Louise, donating Hot Laps which allow him to see the joy on people’s faces whose everyday life is a constant struggle.