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July 25, 2002

Richardson knows time to shine is now
By Russ Ullyot
The Daily Courier

Mike Richardson is ready to race through the streets of Vancouver.

The Kelowna resident is off to the Lower Mainland today to compete in the Molson Indy Vancouver weekend.

Richardson, 34, is one of three Canadians on the Barber Dodge Pro Series, an open-wheeled support race for the CART program.

Billed as a series for up and coming drivers of open-wheeled racing --- current Formula One star Juan Montoya used the series as a training ground in the mid-90's --- the mechanical contractor is in his rookie season.

It's been a season with a steep learning curve. Heading into the seventh season of a 10-event season, Richardson has still to count any championship points. He hopes for a change in Vancouver.

"It's just a matter of I have to…" said Richardson. "There are going to be family, friends, sponsors all watching, and I have to do better than in the past.
The past, which includes races at Sebring in Florida, Lime Rock in New Hampshire, Laguna Seca in California, Portland Ore., Toronto and Cleveland, has found Richardson running in the third-tier of cars.

"It's a matter of being consistent and staying focused," said Richardson after a 17th place finish in Cleveland on July 12.

"The key to any street course is to be consistent and stay in it. You don't want to get too excited.

To that end, Richardson has gone into overtime studying tapes of last year's CART race in Vancouver.

"I've been watching old in-car data," said Richardson, who has never raced in Vancouver. He first climbed into a racecar three years ago after watching from the 1998 Vancouver Indy at trackside.

He will get to walk the 1.781-mile street course today, alongside all the other drivers from the Barber Dodge Pro Series, CART, Fran-Am, the SCCBC sedan series and the CASCAR Super Series.

"It's always kind of a bonus to get there and be able to do that," said Richardson, who has spent almost as much time flying to and from races as he has in the driver's seat this season.