Lowndes nears Richards' Bathurst haul
Photo Source: AAP
Jim Richards is happy to lose his title as Australia's most successful Bathurst driver behind the late great Peter Brock.
So long as it's to Craig Lowndes - mostly because it will mean a win, too, for his son Steven.
The pair won last year's Great Race and have again teamed up for this year's Supercars endurance series.
Lowndes needs just one more victory to match Jim Richards' haul of seven - a feat bettered only by Brock, who was crowned King of the Mountain a record nine times over 15 years.
"I can't see anyone winning nine," Richards told AAP.
"Craig's got six, I've done seven.
"I'd be rapt if he did catch up to me, because that means Stevie will get another couple of wins also.
"Steve and Craig came up through karts and Formula Ford together, so it's quite fitting that those two are driving together now and won Bathurst together last year."
This year marks the 10th anniversary since Brock's shock death at the Targa West rally.
The Bathurst trophy was named after the motor-racing icon in 2006, with Lowndes and now six-time champion Jamie Whincup the inaugural winners in a Ford Falcon.
Richards said it will be fitting for Lowndes to win again this year to mark the milestone.
"It would be brilliant, because he was sort of a protege of Brocky's," he said.
"He really loved Peter Brock - he grew up idolising him and then got to drive against him.
"He's still one of the best drivers in the sport."
Richards, who co-drove with Brock at Bathurst a number of times and still competes in the Touring Car Masters at the age of 69, makes the trip every year to Western Australia for the rally to honour his late friend.
He said his death had been a huge loss for Australian motorsport.
"It's hard to believe that he's gone. You still talk about him as if he's just over the road having a coffee.
"He wasn't just a V8 Supercar driver as such - he covered all classes, all areas of motorsport.
"Brocky would've done it if there was no trophies because he loved motor cars, he loved driving.
"The fact that he's not here anymore really means there's a big hole left."
MOST SUCCESSFUL BATHURST CHAMPIONS
9 - Peter Brock (1972, 75, 78, 79, 80, 82, 83, 84, 87)
7 - Jim Richards (1978, 79, 80, 91, 92, 98, 2002)
6 - Larry Perkins (1982, 83, 84, 93, 95, 97); Mark Skaife (1991, 92, 2001, 02, 05, 10); Craig Lowndes (1996, 2006, 07, 08, 10, 15)
4 - Bob Jane (1961, 62, 63, 64); Harry Firth (1961, 62, 63, 67); Allan Moffat (1970, 71, 73, 77); Greg Murphy (1996, 99, 2003, 04); Jamie Whincup (2006, 07, 08, 12); Steven Richards (1998, 99, 2013, 15)
3 - Dick Johnson (1981, 89, 94); Garth Tander (2000, 09, 11)