Bathurst legend Steven Richards announces retirement from Supercars
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After a career in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship spanning 460 races and over two decades, expat New Zealander Steven Richards has announced his retirement from racing in the series.
Although he was long known as a solid and consistent runner in the series during his full-time years with teams like Garry Rogers Motorsport, Perkins Engineering, and Ford Performance Racing, Richards made his biggest mark as one of the sharpest drivers at the annual Bathurst 1000.
The second generation racer — son of Jim Richards — clocked 10 race wins in his Supercars career, and an incredible five of those wins were at Mount Panorama. He won last year's event in memorable style with Craig Lowndes, before shifting to Team 18 for the 2019 season with former teammate Mark Winterbottom.
“I’ve been in discussion with Charlie and the team regarding an active role for some time,” said Richards. “It’s an exciting time at Team 18 and now is the right time to make this decision.
“I’ll be able to utilise my experience to assist Charlie and the team drive success both on and off the track and work closely with the incredible team partnerships that have been established. I’ve had a fantastic career in Supercars, winning races, competing for championships, and driving with the best teams and drivers in the most competitive touring car championship in the world.
“While I close the door on Supercars I’ll still have some flexibility to continue driving in other categories.”
Richards made a name for himself early on as one of Garry Rogers' first young prospects, helping set the foundations for GRM's model of nurturing young talent. After a brief stint with Nissan's British Touring Car Championship team as a test driver, Richards returned to claim a surprise Bathurst 1000 win with Jason Bright and Stone Brothers Racing in 1998.
He then won the race the following year with Greg Murphy and Gibson Motorsport, simultaneously becoming the first driver to win the Great Race consecutively in a Ford then a Holden. His three other wins with Mark Winterbottom (2013) and Lowndes (2015, 2018) came as one of the most in-demand co-drivers on the grid.