Emotional scenes were repeated up and down pit lane today as V8 Supercar paddock favourite, Jason Richards, overcame cancer to finish second at Albert Park.
The Team BOC driver started from sixth on the grid but was soon battling for the lead despite suffering from adrenocortical carcinoma. He snatched P1 from Alex Davison in the pits but was reeled in by Garth Tander, who was on the faster soft tyre, and finished second after 25 laps.
Team-mate Jason Bright ran in sixth until the closing laps, when his tyres faded and he dropped to ninth.
Tomorrow's race, in which JR aims to go one better, starts at 1.10pm.
Team BOC #14
"Maybe it's just being relaxed in the driving and enjoying myself but for some reason I seem to be performing better with cancer in me! Today when we were at the front, pushing for the lead, the adrenalin just worked wonders.
"I had a choice: either to sit on the couch and watch or to take the seat and have a go myself. This is my weekend, where I'm living my normal life; the heavy stuff will come later on.
"The emotional support I've had from the fans, my family, my V8 family, the team and my sponsors; it's exactly why I'm doing it. I'm just very grateful. Maybe that's what lifted me to do this today.
"It really does make a difference when you're at the hospital; having all this positive energy from being part of my team."
Team BOC #8
"It was awesome to see. There isn't anyone here that wasn't happy to see JR in second and there were plenty of people who wanted to see him win it. Early on there I could see he was racing away. Six months off doesn't see to have slowed him down at all."
2011 Formula 1 Qantas Australian Grand Prix
ALBERT PARK GRAND PRIX CIRCUIT
V8 Supercar ? RACE TWO
01 Garth Tander, HRT
02 Jason Richards, Team BOC
03 Alex Davison, SBR
04 Jamie Whincup, 888
05 Rick Kelly, Kelly Racing
06 Craig Lowndes, 888
07 Tim Slade, JRR
08 Fabian Coulthard, TWR
09 Jason Bright, Team BOC
10 Shane Van Gisbergen, SBR
Jason Richards was diagnosed with ACC last November, at the end of his second year with Brad Jones Racing.
Jason Bargwanna is standing in for Richards whilst he recovers, but has stepped aside this weekend
At the Clipsal 500 last week, Richards raced and won a Fujistu V8 Supercar race (www.teamboc.com.au/news/?id_display=809)
All messages of support to Richards should be directed to his Facebook fanpage (www.facebook.com/pages/Jason-Richards-Fan-Page
Published: 26 March 2011.