V8 star Jason Richards remembered

V8 star Jason Richards remembered

Jason Richards never won Bathurst, nor a V8 Supercar championship.

But those closest to the New Zealand motor racing driver, who died in Melbourne on Thursday night after a 14-month battle with cancer, say the record books didn't do him justice.

The death of Richards, a three-time Bathurst 1000 runner-up and a much-loved figure in the competitive environment of Australasian motor racing, has deeply saddened all involved with the sport.

Richards was 35.

Tributes came from officials, rival drivers and his grief-stricken race team Brad Jones Racing - the most recent of a succession of winning associations with Holden outfits since joining the Australian V8 series in 2001.

Richards won three New Zealand touring car championships prior to moving into V8 Supercars.

"The history books will not do him justice," owner Brad Jones said in a statement from Richards' race team.

"Given the right equipment JR was easily a frontrunner but chose team loyalty over personal gain, determined to work with his crew to reach the front of the grid together."

Ex-Brad Jones Racing teammate John Bowe led a long list of tributes from drivers.

"Awesome dad, wonderful husband, loving son, a brilliant racer and a hero to all," Bowe said of Richards.

"Our hearts are broken - such a tragic loss."

V8 Supercar chairman Tony Cochrane said Richards' fight against adrenocortical carcinoma - a rare form of cancer in Australia - had won universal admiration from all involved in the sport.

"Jason will be remembered for his great grin and his love and loyalty to his family - both of which made him an immensely admired figure in pit lane," Cochrane said.

"There was not a single person in Australian sport, or indeed Australia and his native New Zealand, who did not admire his enormous courage as he battled the last 14 months and his determination to fight in every way he could.

"He will be dearly missed by all in the V8 Supercar family."

Richards was diagnosed with cancer late last year and was forced to step away from fulltime V8 driving.

But he still managed to race part-time despite his illness, winning a second-tier development series race in Adelaide in March.

A memorial service to honour Richards and his career will be held at Melbourne's Sandown Raceway in the next few weeks.

Richards is survived by his wife Charlotte and children Sienna and Olivia.

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