A New Zealander will be inducted into the Australia Motorsport Hall of Fame at their next gala dinner in March 2017. 'Gentleman' Jim Richards will be inducted along with his mate and former co-driver Mark Skaife.

Richards is probably the only Hall of Fame driver to be honoured in two countries. He was inducted into the New Zealand Hall of Fame in 1994 where it states "Jim Richards earned a reputation as a fair and honest racer, always giving his best but never displaying the win-at-all-costs attitude that some others show.

"Although he raced in rallies and speedway, his greatest success came in saloon cars. His association with Sidchrome meant a move to Australia in 1975 where he won the Bathurst 1000 five times. Australian journalists gave him his nickname, a fitting tribute to one of New Zealand's most successful ex-pat racers."

The former team-mates at the Fred Gibson-run Nissan squad from the later days of Group A, were announced during the Coates Hire Sydney 500 Supercars Championship finale at Olympic Park.


Richards won at Mount Panorama seven times and lifted the Australian Touring Car Championship (remained V8 Supercars) trophy four times - the last Kiwi to do so.

"Richo, with Fred Gibson and the Nissan Motor Company were instrumental in my career development in the early stages and we had a great deal of success together," said Skaife.

Richards moved to Australia after his maiden Bathurst start in 1974 and remains humble about the gravity of the legacy he has left in the sport.

"When I set out racing back in New Zealand, I never thought about accolades. I've been fortunate throughout my career to have raced alongside and against some of the best over my time," said Richards.

"Every win regardless of whether it was a Bathurst with Brock or a Targa Tasmania with Barry Olive it's always enjoyable and winning is something that naturally you set out to do."

Fellow Kiwi Shane Van Gisbergen will start from pole for this afternoon's first race of the weekend with a commanding 191-point lead over teammate Jamie Whincup and could wrap up the championship more than two decades after Richards last championship title.