Supercar stars hit lower note

NEW Zealand's Jason Richards has been waiting 14 years to even the ledger with arch-rival David Besnard on the kart track.

But the long wait is finally over for the leading V8 Supercar drivers who will hit the Archer Park Raceway, south of Rockhampton, this weekend.

Richards and Besnard join fellow V8 Supercars drivers Mark Winterbottom and Steve Ellery in action during their Central Queensland visit tomorrow.

Speaking to The Morning Bulletin yesterday, Richards can still remember his kart racing days, which he began in New Zealand as an eight-year-old.

"About 14 years ago I came over (to Australia) to race gokarts and by memory David (Besnard) won our last race,'' Richards said.

"Hopefully I'll get to even the score this weekend.'' Richards, now based in Melbourne, is preparing for his second year with the Tasman Motorsport team.

The Holden team ended last season on a strong note, finishing second at Bathurst and third at the Sandown 500.

Richards and new team-mate Andrew Jones have their sights on victory in the opening race of this year's V8 Supercars Series in Adelaide ? the Clipsal 500.

"We finished the last season quite strongly and we'll be looking to be just as quick out of the blocks and take the series by storm,'' Richards said.

Richards, a former New Zealand karting champion, said promotions like this were important for the future of motorsport.

"It really gives the young karters, who are going to be the future of motorsport in Australia, the chance to talk to us about racing,'' he said.

"It's also for a good cause and we're looking forward to the trip.''

Tomorrow's racing starts at 9.30am, with entry just a gold coin donation, before the drivers head to Gladstone for a Sportsman's Dinner tomorrow night.

All funds raised go to Roseberry Community Services.

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