21 Jun 2009

Richards' first pole not enough in Darwin

6:52 am on 21 June 2009

The New Zealand driver Jason Richards could not convert his career first pole position into a podium finish in the opening race of the fifth round of the V8 Supercar Championship in Darwin.

Richards was rounded up at the start by current champion and series leader Jamie Whincup, who went on to win for the first time in Darwin.

The Ford star claimed his first win at Hidden Valley, and his sixth victory from nine championship starts this year, in the first race of the Triple Crown event on Saturday.

After languishing way off the pace in the previous stop in Tasmania, Richards raced to pole position with a brilliant drive in the Top-10 Shootout at Hidden Valley.

However he had to settle for seventh place in the opening 100km race after he lost brakes with two laps to go and veered off the tracks.