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HomeNewsGrove Racing opts for all-rookie Supercars combination

Grove Racing opts for all-rookie Supercars combination

GROVE Racing will run with an all-rookie combination on its #19 Ford Mustang driven by Matt Payne this year.

The team has confirmed Jack Bell as Payne’s race engineer, continuing the duo’s relationship from the 2022 Super2 Series.

It’s a ploy that has worked splendidly for Triple Eight Race Engineering, who kept Broc Feeney and Martin Short together across Super2 and into the main game.

Bell effectively replaces Will Davidson, while Alistair McVean will stay on David Reynolds’ car.

“Jack possesses the skills and talent required to be a successful race engineer,” said team owner Stephen Grove.

“His maturity and approach make him the ideal choice for this role, together with the depth of our engineering team, I look forward to the results Jack and Matt can achieve.

“Grove Racing have a strong focus on building young talent through our junior program that covers not just the identifying and developing race car drivers, but all disciplines – including engineering, mechanical, commercial and marketing elements within the race team.”

Added team principal David Cauchi: “Jack is a terrific young guy, and he has been an asset to Grove Racing since he started with us.

“His composure and dedication to his work impressed us all from day one. It only seems like a natural progression for him to take on the responsibility as Matt’s race engineer in main game and we are proud to support this.

“It is a big step up, but we have no doubt that Jack will do an outstanding job.”

Bell (right) with Brenton Grove. Pic: Supplied

Bell, a recent graduate of Monash University in Melbourne, also has some experience in Carrera Cup and GT.

He is the only rookie race engineer thus far confirmed for the 2023 Repco Supercars Championship.

“I can’t thank everyone at Grove Racing enough for the opportunity,” he said.

“The support provided by the whole team from engineering to mechanics to management has been instrumental in my learning and development over 2022.

“There will be increased pressure for sure, but I know I have the right team around me to succeed and I am eager to contribute to what will be an exciting season as we welcome Gen3.”

In addition to Cauchi, Grove’s off-track hierarchy involves Grant McPherson as technical director and Steve Robertson as Gen3 project manager.

Tickford Racing and Brad Jones Racing are the only teams yet to confirm their race engineering line-ups.

At least one change is expected at each, with Western Australia-based Rhys Lenegan tipped to step back at Tickford, and BJR in need of a replacement for Matt Stone Racing recruit Paul Forgie.

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