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Grove Racing’s Australian Mercedes breaks cover

GROVE Racing has shown off the livery in which its freshly acquired Mercedes-AMG will appear in GT World Challenge Australia this year.

Having switched allegiances from Porsche over the summer, father/son combination Stephen and Brenton Grove will race the ex-Harrolds Volante Rosso Motorsport car.

That will come with high-level alliances, the Groves’ Ford Supercars team offering engineering and technical support, and Earl Bamber Motorsport assisting at the track and with logistics.

“We’re utilising the race engineers from our Supercar program throughout the season, so it’s really exciting to grow Grove Racing’s presence further,” said Brenton, a former Triple Eight Super2 driver.

“We’ve competed in GT for many years now, however it’s the first time that the Supercar operation has had any real involvement.

Brenton Grove. Pic: Ross Gibb

“We’re taking Alistair (McVean) and Jack (Bell) to our overseas races this year too, so it’s exciting to grow the engineering knowledge of Grove Racing in another discipline.”

McVean and Bell are the team’s Supercars race engineers for Richie Stanaway and Matt Payne, respectively.

The Groves have been regulars at major international GT events – something which will continue this year, starting with next week’s Sepang 12 Hour – but are pleased to be making a return to racing Down Under.

“We’re really excited to do some domestic racing, which has been rare over the past few years,” Brenton added.

Pic: Supplied

“We haven’t ever done a full season in GT World Challenge Australia, however after a lot of the changes that have been announced over Christmas and knowing how SRO work, we couldn’t help but commit to the full season.

“The calendar and championship is shaping up to be super exciting.”

Stephen Grove echoed those sentiments and voiced praise for the Merc, as Round 1 looms at Phillip Island on April 12-14.

“I really love the car. It’s great to drive and to have one here in the Australian championship and one for our overseas races is super exciting,” he said.

“Compared to the Porsche, the speed in the Mercedes comes more from its horsepower.

Pic: Supplied

“Being a front-engined car, it also gives you a lot of confidence with all of the weight at the front. The Porsche is more nervous in the rear, so for an AM (amateur) driver, it makes me feel very confident.

“Brenton and I have raced together for so long, and it’s fantastic that we can continue to do that amongst a very competitive local field.

“Some of the other Pro-Am cars have gold or platinum rated drivers, usually drivers from Supercars or overseas imports. That puts a lot of responsibility on Brenton and myself, so it just means we need to work hard.

“We’ll see how we go, but I’m looking forward to doing it again in a new car.”

Beyond Sepang, Grove Racing’s international GT program will this year include the 24 Hours of Portimao, the Indianapolis 8 Hour and the Gulf 12 Hours.

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