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V8 Wire (Jason Whittaker)

Steven Richards will join his third V8 Supercar team in as many years in 2002, today signing with Castrol Perkins Racing.

Richards, a driver whose manufacturer allegiances only run skin-deep, will return to the General's fold after spending a troubled season with Glenn Seton's Ford Tickford Racing outfit.

Richards was released from his contract with FTR last month.

The 29-year-old will campaign a third Castrol Commodore next season, alongside Russell Ingall and Team Manager, Larry Perkins.

"I'm thrilled to be joining Larry and Russell in the team, while also renewing acquaintances with Castrol and Holden, with whom I have had excellent working relationships with in the past," the two-time Bathurst champion said.

"The Castrol Perkins team has a strong history of success in the V8 Supercar series, with three championship runner-up finishes in the past four years, while its strength at Bathurst is legendary."

51-year-old Perkins, who will delay his retirement for at least another year, said he was delighted to sign Richards.

"Steven's logical approach and strong engineering background will prove to be a valuable addition to our team and we are all looking forward to working with him," he said.

The three-pronged Castrol attack will be the most formidable ever staged by the Melbourne-based Perkins garage, as they chase an elusive V8 Supercar crown.

Richards' signing also bolsters Holden's line-up, who lost ground in the promotional stakes to Ford this year with the highly publicised defection of Craig Lowndes, as well as Richards.

Holden Motorsport Manager, John Stevenson welcomed Richards back to Holden and said he would be a great asset to Holden's efforts in maintaining its winning record.

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