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Stanaway relishes drought-breaking podium

RICHIE Stanaway’s Triple Eight move has brought immediate success in the form of a drought-breaking podium.

Stanaway joined Jamie Whincup and Prince Jefri Ibrahim in driving a Boost Mobile Mercedes-AMG GT3 to third place in the Pro-Am class at the Bathurst 12 Hour.

The Kiwi spearheaded the #99 entry, shining as he took the wheel during the Pro leg of qualifying to outpace international stars including Frederic Vervisch, Maxi Götz, Augusto Farfus, Dries Vanthoor, Daniel Juncadella and more.

It was a return to his GT forte of the mid-2010s, when Stanaway was a regular for Aston Martin’s World Endurance Championship program.

All up, a class podium marked a strong start to Stanaway’s Triple Eight tenure, which involves co-driving with Shane van Gisbergen at the Sandown 500 and Repco Bathurst 1000 later this year.

“It’s been an incredible experience working with Triple Eight, getting to know the team and working with such an incredible organisation,” he said.

“I’m so grateful to JMR (Johor Motorsports Racing), Boost Mobile and Triple Eight.

“It’s been incredibly valuable seat time for me here at Bathurst and a great way to start the year… I haven’t had a podium since 2017, so I’d forgotten what it’s like to receive a trophy and a bottle of champagne.

“It’s an amazing way to finish my first race with the team and I hope there may be more to come.”

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That most recent podium for Stanaway had come at the 2017 Gold Coast 600, where he and Cam Waters defied torrential conditions to finish second for Tickford Racing.

Richie Stanaway and Cam Waters on the 2017 Gold Coast 600 podium. Pic: an1images.com / Dirk Klynsmith

That result had been hot on the heels of the duo’s stunning Sandown 500 win.

Whincup, Stanaway’s new boss, was equally pleased with the outcome.

“We’ve got to be happy with third in class, the team did an excellent job,” said the seven-time Supercars champion.

“Personally, I pushed as hard as I could and I didn’t leave anything on the table.

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“I think Prince Jefri and Richie would say the same about their performances, and the crew’s pit stops were solid all day, so all in all we did everything we could.

“The competition was very strong, we know that from those guys we race regularly here in Australia, plus the factory drivers who come from overseas.

“You don’t get a bigger race than the Bathurst 12 Hour – just ask all the European and Asian teams who make the pilgrimage here. They say this event is top three in the world.

“It was an honour to represent Johor Motorsports Racing and Boost Mobile this weekend.”

The all-Pro sister Triple Eight car shared by Götz, Broc Feeney and Shane van Gisbergen finished fifth outright.

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