Sons of guns

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 09/10/2015
  • By Kassie Gadeke

A number of sons of former Bathurst winners line up this weekend at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 to try and tame Mount Panorama as their fathers did.

Steven Richards, Jack Perkins and James Moffat will get behind the wheel of V8 Supercars, with Richards having clocked up three wins over the years, and the others filling roles as primary drivers in the Great Race this weekend.

Joined by Ryan Hansford and Gerard McLeod, who compete in the V8 Utes category, five sons of greats spoke to before suiting up at Mount Panorama yesterday.

Richards -son of seven-time winner Jim Richards -is a Bathurst legend in his own right, pairing up with Craig Lowndes this weekend and having won the 1000 as recently as 2013 with Mark Winterbottom.

In fact his dad Jim was just preparing to jump into his Touring Car Masters 1972 AMC Javelin and race another legend's son in Steven Johnson, who was a late inclusion into the category.

"This particular event has been in the family for so long," Richards told

"My fist visit here was '76 or '77, and I've missed one year since then.

"It became our family holiday, supporting dad and what he was doing, and now all of a sudden I'm here as well.

"It's been a big part of our life I suppose, so to still be driving, co-driving and doing other things as well in the Porsche Carrera Cup, it's fantastic."

Perkins -son of Larry Perkins, six-time winner -has stepped up to primary driver duties in the absence of regular #22 pilot James Courtney.

Last year's race was one that got away for the second-generation racer, who was in a strong position until a late drive-through penalty. He was thrilled to be lining up with the factory Holden Racing Team this weekend.

"This is the ultimate for a race car driver in Australia, and even the world, to come to Bathurst and race," he said.

"I've been fortunate enough to do nine of them and to be here doing my 10th with HRT is pretty cool, and to have Russell [Ingall] now on board is even cooler because of the family history.

"At Sandown we proved we're genuine competitors and we'll be giving it our best shot so I can't wait."

For Nissan's Moffat -son of four-time winner Allan Moffat -finishing second in 2014 showed him just how important the race is.

"That was a moment when I realised how much the place really does mean, and I guess I've used that as motivation to go one better this year," he said.

"Winning the race would mean everything to me, it's hard to describe really what Bathurst does mean because it's just such a unique place ... obviously Dad devoted 25 years of his life to it, so he had the approach that there was only one race that really mattered."

The V8 Utes drivers do get the chance to race on Sunday, before the 1000 kicks off.

McLeod - son of 1987 Bathurst winner Peter McLeod - described Mount Panorama as his "Graceland".

"It's a pretty special place with the family history here, with dad winning in '87 so it's always good to get here.

"It's the only reason I go racing, it's the only reason I'm a race car driver. I grew up riding my push bike around the pits and working on cars in the family team. It's part of my year every year. I wouldn't know what to do with my Octobers if Bathurst didn't exist, so it's great."

Hansford - son of Gregg Hansford, 1993 Bathurst winner -had a run in a V8 Supercar in 2010, but sticks to the Utes these days.

"This is probably the best place in Australia where you can compete," he said.

Stay tuned this weekend to see the 'sons of guns' in the various categories at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.

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