Jason Richards of Brad Jones Racing during the SKYCITY Triple Crown, Event 08 of the 2010 Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series at the Hidden Valley Raceway, Darwin, Northern Territory, June 19, 2010.

Nelson legend to be honoured on weekend

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Seven Kiwi karters will be on hand to honour the late Nelson driving legend, Jason Richards during a special memorial round of Australia’s Rotax Pro Tour in South Australia this weekend.

The Nelson born and bred driver was a multi-time South Island and New Zealand Sprint Kart champion before making the move to V8 Supercars and shifting to Melbourne.

Like a lot of other successful drivers who got their start in karts, Richards retained an active interest in the sport, supporting and competing in an annual Christchurch endurance event and contesting a round of the Rotax Pro Tour in Australia in 2010.

With his ready smile and willingness to engage with fans Richards was one of the most popular drivers in the V8 Supercar category.

After Jason died of a rare form of cancer in 2011, members of Australia’s Rotax karting fraternity created the Jason Richards Memorial to honour his contribution to the sport.

Two trophies will be awarded at this weekend’s meeting. One is the Jason Richards Memorial Trophy which will go to the driver who upholds and possesses the values, personality and mateship that Jason Richards himself displayed, while the other, the Jason Richards Cup, will be awarded to the winner of the DD2 class at the round.

The seven Kiwi karters include Sam Wright and Emerson Vincent who are currently second in the Junior Max and Micro Max series standings.

Joining them are five other regulars from this side of the Tasman, Connor Davison from Hamilton, Mathew Payne from Pukekohe and Rianna O’Meara-Hunt and Ashleigh and Madeline Stewart from Wellington.

This weekend’s round is the fifth of seven with the Grand Final meeting at Dubbo in New South Wales in October.