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Stanaway crashes out of opening Bathurst practice

RICHIE Stanaway’s much-vaunted return to full-time Repco Supercars Championship duties has hit an early hurdle.

The reigning Bathurst 1000-winning co-driver crashed his Grove Racing Mustang halfway through the 60-minute Practice 1.

Television replays showed the Penrite Mustang clouting the left-side concrete on the entry to the Dipper.

Stanaway limped the damaged machine through the following corners before pulling up at the exit of Forrest’s Elbow.

Speaking before the car returned to pitlane, team principal David Cauchi was upbeat about the repair ahead.

“It looks like he’s just clipped the wall,” he said.

“He was being really competitive, he was P4, just building up to it, but we haven’t heard much from him yet.

“It’s unfortunate but it doesn’t look too bad, we’ll get him back out on track later on.”

Stanaway later explained that he’d been surprised by the incident, in which he’d clipped the left-side wall before firing into the right.

“We had good initial speed and was just pushing too hard, too early,” he said.

“It’s unfortunate because I went into the session with the mentality not to really attack the session at all and just build up to it and next thing, I’m in the fence.

“It was disappointing.”

Stanaway’s crash was the second red flag stoppage of Practice 1 after Jack Le Brocq’s Erebus Camaro came to a halt just seconds into the session.

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