Back in 1992 at Bathurst, a fresh-faced Mark Skaife and Jim Richards claimed victory in one of the craziest ends to a race Mount Panorama has ever seen.
The race was red flagged after heavy rain leading to a number of big crashes, including one involving the lead car being driven by Richards.
The race was halted with the leaders currently on their 145th lap, the lap which Richards lost control of his Nissan, leaving it completely totalled and unable to drive.
However, due to the sheer number of cars crashing prior to the completion of the leaders’ 144th lap, the race was woundback an extra lap, meaning it was technically red flagged before Richards had his crash.
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That meant Skaife and Richards, as they were leading at the time, were declared the winners and presented as champions, much to the anger of the Holden and Ford fans, who greeted them on the podium with a chorus of boos.
And Richards didn’t hold back on them.
“I’m just really stunned for words,” he said. “I just can’t believe the reception. I thought Australian race fans had a lot more to go than this. This is bloody disgraceful.
“I’ll keep racing but I tell you what, this is going to remain with me for a long time. You’re a pack of arseholes!”
Skaife and Richards were reunited on Fox Sports’ Loud Pedal Podcast to discuss the incident and their stance hasn’t softened even after 28 years.
“I was angry because the crowd wouldn’t let us have our say,” Richards said. “When you’re up there with a microphone and you’re talking into it you can’t really hear what you’re saying. I mean I was going to say it anyway but still!
“I reckon two minutes after that Skaifey and I were having a beer and laughing!”
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Skaife said of the incident: “The backstory is that he stopped me from filling up my pockets and chucking beer cans back at them!
“For Gentleman Jim to give the crowd a burst like that… and you think in Australian sporting history, you think AFL or NRL grand final where the captain or the coach speaks, have you ever heard one of Australia’s pre-eminent sports people smashing the crowd up like that?
“They thoroughly deserved it. That day was deplorable. And it came from a couple of things. It came from Neil Crompton walking out on the podium and giving them all the bird – that didn’t help. Then Dick Johnson conveniently forgot the red flag rule that saw him with the race 10 years prior, so he’s wound them all up also, and by the time we got to go out there we just knew it was going to be chaos. It was just out of control. It was pretty wild.”
Richards added: “Don’t forget, after I called them a pack of arseholes, next year a lot of them had T-shirts saying ‘I’m an arsehole, Jim told me.’”
Richards did make amends when the duo won Bathurst again 10 years later when, once given the microphone on the podium again, he declared the fans “lovely, lovely people”.