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Adderton’s brutally honest Tander regret

BOOST Mobile boss Peter Adderton has made a frank admission that he unintentionally turned fans against Richie Stanaway in 2019.

Stanaway, a GP2 race winner, burst onto the Australian scene by winning the 2017 Sandown 500 in just his fifth Repco Supercars Championship start, teamed with Cam Waters.

But his Tickford Racing graduation to a full-time opportunity did not pan out, relations with the team breaking down as he finished 25th overall in the 26-strong field.

Staring down the barrel of spending 2019 on the sidelines, Stanaway was a late call-up to Garry Rogers Motorsport as part of a naming rights package deal with Boost.

MORE: Supercars explains Adderton entry snub

The flow-on effect was the unexpected, forced retirement of champion Garth Tander, leaving fans with a sour taste before Stanaway/GRM had even turned a racing lap together.

Another tough year ensued, at the end of which the Kiwi hung up his helmet and disappeared back to New Zealand.

Speaking in the newly released mini-documentary Wildcard: One Last Shot, detailing Boost’s 2022 Bathurst comeback campaign for Stanaway and Greg Murphy, Adderton expressed his regret at how the GRM situation played out.

“I was disappointed with the way Richie left in 2019, and to be honest I had a lot of guilt for that, to be totally truthful,” said Adderton.

“I’m a marketer and I always try to come up with ideas and stories but I kind of forgot the personal effects it has on people.

“At the time, we put Richie in the car and Garth got thrown out.

“I thought, ‘this is great, we’re getting all this coverage’.

“All it did was it kind of turned the fans a little bit against Richie.

“It had nothing to do with him and then he went into a pretty bad period, so I kind of felt responsible for putting him in that situation.”

Stanaway’s eventual return at Bathurst this year left many impressed, defying a problematic couple of practice sessions and inclement weather to blaze his way into the Top 10 Shootout.

He and Murphy then converted that into 11th on race day, Stanaway drawing immense praise for his performance.

It had appeared he could return to the full-time grid next year with Adderton declaring his plans to that end and ordering a Triple Eight Gen3 Camaro, only to be unsuccessful in his efforts to secure a Teams Racing Charter.

He has subsequently declared an intention to run Stanaway in selected wildcard events next season.

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