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Payne, Stanaway dare to dream on home soil

COMPATRIOTS and teammates Matt Payne and Richie Stanaway are daring to dream of winning their home race this weekend.

For Stanaway, the ITM Taupō Super400 is his first chance to race a Supercar in New Zealand since 2019 (Pukekohe).

For Payne, it’s his first time altogether.

Grove Racing is the only Supercars team with an all-Kiwi line-up, and after a fast start to the season, its drivers are eager to rise to the occasion at Taupō.

“What would it mean to win in New Zealand? It would mean everything and be the biggest achievement of my career,” mused Payne, who scored his maiden main game victory at the 2023 Adelaide 500 and was ultra-quick last month at Albert Park.

“It would be a very emotional day for me and my family. Always been a dream of mine to win in front of a home crowd.”

Grove Racing’s special one-off livery for Taupō. Pic: Supplied

Stanaway, similarly, is no stranger to major Supercars silverware having won the 2017 Sandown 500 and 2023 Bathurst 1000 – but success on home soil would take the cake.

“It would mean everything,” said the #26 Penrite Mustang driver.

“My whole life is focused on trying to win a sprint race so it would mean everything to me anywhere, but especially at home in front of family and friends.”

Grove Racing is rocking a special NZ-inspired livery this weekend.

Rounding out the five-strong Kiwi Supercars contingent is Walkinshaw Andretti United’s Ryan Wood, plus Brad Jones Racing duo Andre Heimgartner and Jaxon Evans.

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