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Payne talks new teammate Stanaway

GROVE Racing will take an all-Kiwi line-up into the 2024 Repco Supercars Championship, but Matt Payne admits his relationship with Richie Stanaway will somewhat be starting from scratch.

Payne’s stocks are high, the 21-year-old having won the final race of the year in Adelaide.

Stanaway is 11 years older, and is coming back for his first full-time season since 2019, replacing Team 18-bound David Reynolds in the #26 Penrite Mustang.

Payne was just eight years of age when Stanaway clinched the 2011 German Formula 3 title; his resume since includes wins in GP3, GP2, the World Endurance Championship (in class), Super2, plus the Sandown 500 and Bathurst 1000.

“I didn’t know Richie before I started racing or anything like that,” Payne said in Adelaide.

Richie Stanaway with Grove Racing at Queensland Raceway

“He went to Europe like before I was really being competitive in racing so I never knew him at that stage, but obviously I have followed all of his progress.

“When he was racing I was always watching the TV at that stage, when he was doing really well over in Europe.

“I have spoken to him quite a bit over the last couple of months and I think we get on really well, so it’s going to be a really good year next year and I think we’re both looking forward to it.”

Big things are expected of Grove Racing in 2024 after another year of substantial progress and its bumper finish to ‘23.

Payne and Stanaway will be two of five New Zealanders on the 2024 Supercars grid, joined by Ryan Wood (Walkinshaw Andretti United), Andre Heimgartner and Jaxon Evans (both Brad Jones Racing).

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