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HomeNewsGrove calls on Supercars to hype up new guard

Grove calls on Supercars to hype up new guard

STEPHEN Grove believes Supercars must up the ante to raise the profile of its next wave of star drivers.

With the likes of Craig Lowndes, Scott McLaughlin, Jamie Whincup and Shane van Gisbergen departing in at least a full-time sense during the past half-decade, there is a vacuum of sorts in household names on the grid.

That’s not to say talent has thinned; just that there’s new faces for fans to acquaint themselves with.

Besides the likes of Brodie Kostecki, Will Brown and Thomas Randle, 21-and-unders Broc Feeney (Triple Eight), Matt Payne (Grove Racing), Ryan Wood (Walkinshaw Andretti United) and Super2 champion/Dick Johnson Racing protégé Kai Allen are the real deal.

Grove wants to see their profiles grow to match their talent.

“We have got new young guys coming through and I think the real hurdle for Supercars is to make sure that we start to grow those brands, we start to grow all these guys outside of the sport,” he said.

“It’s really, really important for our sport, so hopefully Supercars will grab hold of that and really start to market these guys.”

Supercars’ return to New Zealand next year will help provide Payne and Wood with the chance to become heroes on home soil, while the championship appears keen to continue exploring the bright lights of an international Formula 1 opportunity.

Grove’s comments are in line with those of driver Scott Pye, who took to social media earlier this week to urge Supercars to do more to promote the stars of the category.

“I think we need to make some serious changes with how we market the drivers and the category,” he wrote, doubling down on comments made to V8 Sleuth last month.

“F1 never improved the on-track action and certainly haven’t improved parity to make the show interesting or relevant again for the fans.

“The new owners have a great marketing strategy focusing on driver-centric narratives.

“It’s almost undisputed that Supercars has the closest racing in motorsport yet, by trying to keep a manufacturer battle alive that clearly doesn’t exist anymore, we have lost relevance and damaged the chance of having household names for this next generation.

“I think we could create better content that focuses on all of the drivers and the stories that go on inside the paddock and away from the track, rather than focusing on two or three.

“Social media, documentaries, marketing that focuses on drivers not the cars and a shake-up of broadcast would be where I’d start.”

Pye is out of a full-time ride at Team 18 and will join Triple Eight for the Sandown and Bathurst endurance races, likely pairing with Brown.

Grove Racing will field Payne and Richie Stanaway, whose debut outing with the team at the weekend’s Gulf 12 Hour was cut short when Stephen Grove crashed out in the early stages.

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