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Stanaway to make early racing debut for Groves

RICHIE Stanaway will not have to wait until 2024 to make his competitive debut for Grove Racing.

Team owner Stephen Grove has confirmed he’ll contest the upcoming Gulf 12 Hours at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit alongside son Brenton and Supercars recruit Stanaway.

“We’re excited to have Richie Stanaway joining us for 2024,” said Grove.

“He is racing with us in the Gulf 12 Hour in Abu Dhabi in a couple of weeks, sharing the driving with Brenton and myself, so we will get an early start to working with him and building the understanding and the relationship.”

The Groves are regulars in the endurance GT3 racing scene, entering their Porsche 911 GT3 R in every round of the 2023 Intercontinental GT Challenge season.

That’s seen them team up with Anton De Pasquale and/or Earl Bamber in the Bathurst 12 Hour, Kyalami 9 Hour, Spa 24 Hour and Indianapolis 8 Hour.

Stanaway himself has quite the background in that sphere, having been a factory Aston Martin driver in the World Endurance Championship throughout the mid-2010s, and racing for Triple Eight this year in the Asian and Australian editions of GT World Challenge.

The 2023 Bathurst 1000 winner will relaunch his full-time Supercars career next year with the Groves, replacing Team 18-bound David Reynolds.

He’s already begun integrating himself into the in-form Ford squad, initially cutting laps in a Penrite Gen3 Mustang at a Queensland Raceway ride day on October 31.

He also was able to turn a limited number of laps at the rookie day Grove used for Matt Payne at Winton in the lead-up to the Adelaide 500.

Grove broke through for a maiden Supercars race win last month on the Gold Coast via Reynolds, and backed that up with Payne taking victory yesterday.

“It’s a good way to finish the year, and it gives us a lot of confidence,” said Grove.

“Matty Payne has had a win now, so he can tick the box and get on with it. The team also understand what winning is all about so it opens the door for us in 2024.

“It’s vindication that everybody’s hard work is starting to pay off. We’re really primed as a team to hit the ground running next year.”

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