Jason Richards Memorial Trophy for AUS vs NZ TA2 Trans-Tasman Challenge
Australian competitors are set to cross the ditch to the South Island of New Zealand this week for Round 1 of the Trans-Tasman TA2 challenge, held at Euromarque Motorsport Park in Christchurch for the Lady Wigram Trophy Event, February 9-11.
The prestigious Jason Richards Memorial Trophy is up for grabs in the inaugural two event TA2 Trans-Tasman Challenge, with Round Two as a support to the New Zealand Grand Prix the following weekend at Highlands Motorsport Park. (Feb 16-18). Jason was a well-regarded driver both in New Zealand and Australia. He was a three-time New Zealand Touring Car Champion followed by an extensive career in Australia racing Super Tourers, then V8 Supercars taking three second placed podiums at Bathurst with Jamie Whincup, Greg Murphy and Cam McConville.
Jason also took part in last true Trans-Tasman Challenge back in 2006 sharing a V8 Ute with Gary Baxter in the inaugural V8 Utes International at Manfield, before succumbing to cancer in 2011.
This prestigious trophy will be awarded to the Australian or New Zealand Team with the most points over the two Round Series. Howe Engineering Services, manufacturers of the PBR Spec TA2 race car will also put up a perpetual trophy for the series winners. The winning Team will get to hold the Trophy for 12 months in recognition of their efforts.
Eight Australian drivers will take on eight New Zealanders in the six race, two event challenge.
Coming off a competitive season racing for Steven Millers Racing in the USA, Nathan Herne will lead the Aussie charge in his previously owned front running Dodge Challenger that will be left in New Zealand for future events.
South Australia’s Brad Gartner will be racing the #10 Captain America Purple Dodge Challenger for series owner Peter Robinson, as Peter lays low following a recent shoulder injury.
TA2 regulars Michael Coulter, Anthony Tenkate, Mark Crutcher, Paul Hadley, Graham Cheney and 2023 Rookie of the Year winner Greg Keam will round out the Australian drivers competing in New Zealand.
New Zealand’s eighteen-year-old young gun Ben Stewart will join the field in the #43 Chevrolet Camaro. Setting lap records at most tracks, he also won the Bathurst Toyota 86 Shoot Out last Year and scored a fully funded Drive at the Bathurst 1000 in a Toyota 86.
Former V8 Ute’s champion Brett Rudd, demolition expert Peter Ward, and NZ TA2 Muscle Car regulars, Steve Ross, Andrew Turner, Andrew Sinclair and John Roberts will round out the Kiwi line up with 2 cars for next weekend.
The TA2 Aus vs NZ Trans-Tasman Challenge will have 3 races across the weekend with the option of single or co-driver teams. Race 3 will feature a final 20-minute race with a mandatory pit stop for a driver change or minimum timed stop for solo drivers. Catch all of Sunday’s action live on Sky Sports New Zealand, Fox Sports and Kayo Sports Australia.
Brad Gartner - #10 B Styled for Life, Dodge Challenger
"The Jason Richards Memorial Trophy is a great award that has been put up by TA2 Racing, and I am very excited to be heading over to New Zealand for the first time to be racing against some great competitors for what is going to be an awesome two weeks of racing.
Thank you to Peter Robinson for giving me this opportunity to drive his Dodge Challenger, I am ready to put my best foot forward and take on the Kiwi's."
Gary Lathrope - New Zealand National Category Manager
“The winning team will get to hold the trophy for 12 months in recognition of their efforts.
“We feel it’s quite fitting to recognise the true spirit of Jason’s motorsport career in both
Australia and New Zealand by allowing this prestigious trophy to be awarded to the
Australian or New Zealand team with the most points over the two round series,”