The winner of the ITM 400 Auckland, signalling the return of V8 Supercars to Pukekohe, will be presented with a trophy honouring the memory of the late Kiwi driver Jason Richards.
The Jason Richards Memorial Trophy will be offered at the meeting from April 12-14 at the south Auckland circuit which has been subjected to $6.6million worth of upgrades to its ageing facilities.
V8 Supercars have commissioned a one-off trophy from celebrated Ardmore artist Frank Watson who specialises in designing unique sculptures using glass, bronze and silver.
Wife Charlotte and children Sienna and Olivia will attend and present the trophy in honour of Jason who died in late 2011.
“While Jason raced mostly in Australia, there was no more proud New Zealander,” Charlotte said of her husband.
“There was nothing he wanted more than to succeed in the V8 Supercars at home and I know he would be thrilled to see the event return to Pukekohe. To have the trophy named in his honour and to have it presented for the first time in the 50th anniversary of his favourite New Zealand race track is special.”
“We miss Jason every day. No-one worked harder to succeed but Jason did this with a smile on his face always. I hope this trophy not only recognises what he achieved in the sport and how he went about it but also inspires other young Kiwis that with big dreams and hard work, you can achieve anything.”
The trophy design is a two-sided glass sculpture with black onyx centrepiece and stainless steel arches depicting the fern, set into a native timber base.
It follows a similar move by MotorsportNZ who offered a different trophy honouring Richards to the winner of the third race at the NZV8 Championship meeting at Taupo early last month.