Look back in history Sunday: Jim Richards and Stu Rogers share race wins at 2018 Skope Classic

| Photographer Credit: Alex Mitchell

This week we look back to the 2018 Skope Classic meeting at the Mike Pero Motorsport Park in Christchurch.  It was the fourth round of the new Archibalds Historic Touring Car Series which featured Australasian motorsport identity ‘Gentleman Jim’ Richards.

Richards had returned to the cockpit of his classic black and gold JPS-liveried Group C BMW 635i – now owned and run by Christchurch classic touring car owner and keen driver Peter Sturgeon – and made a big impression at the big Legends of Bathurst classic motor racing meeting at Hampton Downs a month earlier.

Trevor Crowe, GpA BMW 635i

The local Historic Touring Car (NZ) Association was set up in 2015 to promote the purchase and active use of Touring Cars from the various categories which were run through the 1980s and 1990s, and with over 50 active car-owning members it was decided in 2017 that there is enough ‘critical mass’ to sustain a new, standalone series here.

That series kicked off at MG Classic meeting at Feilding’s Manfeild circuit in November 2017 and concluded at the annual Evolution Motorsport Speedfest meeting at Invercargill’s Teretonga circuit in February 2018.

Joining Richards and the famous ex-Australian Touring Car Championship (ATCC) Group C BMW on track at the Skope Classic meeting was Trevor Crowe in the similar, Group A-spec JPS-liveried BMW 635i, the South Island motorsport identity drove here and across the Tasman in period, as well as Peter Sturgeon himself in the 2.3 litre Group A-spec E30 BMW M3 he also owns, and Australian Touring Car identity Charlie O’Brien in Murray Sinclair’s Nissan Primera Super Tourer.

Andrew Buist in his BMW E36 320i #3 Super Tourer

Richards won two of the four races across the Skope meeting while it was local car builder/driver Stu Rogers (Nissan Skyline GTR) who won the other two.

After qualifying the self-built Skyline in fourth place on Friday, Rogers finished a close second to Richards in the first Archibalds’ series race on Saturday morning then claimed his first win – over Richards, Australian guest driver Charlie O’Brien (in Murray Sinclair’s Nissan Primera Super Tourer) and BMW drivers Arron Black (E30 M3 2.3 Gp A) and Bruce Miles (BMW 320li 2.0-litre Super Tourer) – in the second race in the afternoon.

Jim Richards Group C BMW 635i (#31) now owned by Peter Sturgeon, on his way to winning the first Archibalds Historic Touring Car Series race at the Skope Classic meeting ahead of Stu Rogers (Nissan GTR)

Richards managed to find a way past to take a late race lead and win the third race from Rogers, and the BMWs of Miles, Dale Chapman, Black and Andrew Buist.

But the final was another Rogers/Nissan GTR benefit, it’s driver seemingly increasing in confidence with every lap to eventually cross the finish line almost five-and-a-half seconds in front of Richards with Black a close third and Charlie O’Brien (who for Sunday’s two races had swapped to Peter Sturgeon’s ex Brancatelli 2.3 litre Gp A BMW E30 M3 after engine mount issues put the Sinclair Nissan Primera Super Tourer back on a trailer.

Charlie O’Brien in Murray Sinclair’s Nissan Primera Super Tourer (#33), qualified on pole

Qualifying (Fri)

1/ Charlie O’Brien (Nissan Primera ST) 1:33.512
2/ Arron Black (BMW M3 GpA) 1:33.683
3/ Jim Richards (BMW 635i Gp C) 1:33.940
4/ Stu Rogers (Nissan Skyline Gp A) 1:34.015
5/ Andrew Buist (BMW 320i ST) 1:35.391
6/ Bruce Miles (BMW 320i ST) 1:35.563
7/ Kevin Pateman (Ford Telstar NZTC) 1:36.770
8/ Pete Sturgeon (BMW M3 Gp A) 1:37.346
9/ Dale Chapman (BMW 318i ST) 1:38.431
10/ Nick Young (BMW 325i GpA) 1:38.990
11/ Michael Buist (BMW 325i GpA) 1:40.235
12/ Steven Kelly (BMW 320i NZTC) 1:40.381
13/ Simon Crampton (BMW M3 GpA) 1:40.642
14/ Warren Good (BMW 318i ST) 1:41.476
15/ Trevor Crowe (BMW 635i GpA) 1:41.682
16/ Graeme Clyde (BMW 3201 NZTC) 1:42.276
17/ Murray Cleland (Nissan Sentra GT Cup)1:43.643
18/ Tony Forde (Holden Commodore Gp A) 1:44.689
19/ Dennis Ham (Alfa Romeo 155 GpA) 1:48.41

Race 1 (6 laps)
1/ Jim Richards 9:29.499
2/ Stu Rogers +0.384
3/ Charlie O’Brien +1.293
4/ Arron Black +2.700
5/ Bruce Miles +12.577
6/ Dale Chapman +15.334
7/ Kevin Pateman +22.447
8/ Pete Sturgeon +27.045
9/ Andrew Buist +37.506
10/ Warren Good +38.350
11/ Nick Young +38.733
12/ Trevor Crowe +40.692
13/ Simon Crampton +45.061
14/ Michael Buist +47.622
15/ Steven Kelly +57.660
16/ Murray Cleland +1:13.678
17/ Dennis Ham +1:24.444
DNF Tony Forde
DNS Graeme Clyde

Race 2 (8 laps)
1/ Stu Rogers 11:52.806
2/ Jim Richards +3.097
3/ Arron Black +6.458
4/ Bruce Miles +7.565
5/ Dale Chapman +11.370
6/ Andrew Buist +12.593
7/ Kevin Pateman +24.839
8/ Trevor Crowe +33.272
9/ Steven Kelly +36.586
10/ Nick Young +37.575
11/ Pete Sturgeon +39.019
12/ Warren Good +42.876
13/ Simon Crampton +43.635
14/ Murray Cleland +1:04.320
15/ Tony Forde +1:05.423
16/ Dennis Ham +1:24.680
DNF Michael Buist
DNF Charlie O’Brien

Race 3 (6 laps Sun)
1/ Jim Richards 9.36.217
2/ Stu Rogers +0.214
3/ Bruce Miles +2.102
4/ Arron Black +2.541
5/ Dale Chapman +5.776
6/ Andrew Buist +10.791
7/ Kevin Pateman +12.097
8/ Charlie O’Brien +19.126
9/ Steven Kelly +25.622
10/ Trevor Crowe 27.573
11/ Nick Young +28.075
12/ Warren Good +39.824
13/ Murray Cleland +53.154
14/ Tony Forde +58.930
DNF/ Simon Crampton, Dennis Ham
DNS/ Michael Buist, Graeme Clyde

Race 4 (8 laps Sun)
1/ Stu Rogers 12:40.960
2/ Jim Richards +5.484
3/ Arron Black +6.918
4/ Charlie O’Brien +12.588
5/ Andrew Buist +13.727
6/ Dale Chapman +16.562
7/ Kevin Pateman +30.438
8/ Trevor Crowe +45.666
9/ Nick Young +48.335
10/ Steven Kelly +48.980
11/ Warren Good +54.087
12/ Tony Forde +1:25.267
13/ Murray Cleland +1:26.033
DNF Bruce Miles
DNS Peter Sturgeon, Simon Crampton, Michael Buist, Graeme Clyde, Dennis Ham

Benjamin Carrell

Benjamin Carrell is a freelance motorsport writer and currently edits talkmotorsport.co.nz. He writes for a number of Kiwi drivers and motorsport clubs. That's when he's not working in his horticultural day-job or training for the next road or mtb cycle race!


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