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When Stanaway’s Triple Eight talks actually started

EFFORTS to bring Richie Stanaway into the Triple Eight Race Engineering fold started before the Kiwi made his sensational comeback to racing at the 2022 Repco Bathurst 1000.

Stanaway was last week announced as Shane van Gisbergen’s new Supercars co-driver, replacing the Grove Racing-bound Garth Tander.

While there 35 days between the announcements of Tander’s departure and Stanaway’s arrival, it turns out initial talks had been held long before.

MORE: Tander opens up on Ford switch

“Initially I spoke with Shane about it when Garth was considering taking a TV role rather than driving at all next year and then obviously it all went quiet when he decided not to do that,” Stanaway said on this week’s episode of the Castrol Motorsport News podcast.

“That was shortly after Bathurst and then I kind of just forgot about it and then obviously when Garth went to Grove, it kind of took us all by surprise.

“Obviously I chased Shane up about it again because I knew they were interested initially and then it went from there. We did it pretty quickly from then on.”

Although Tander has publicly insisted retirement never crossed his mind, speculation had swirled in the lead-up to last year’s Great Race that he could accept an increased broadcast role at the expense of his co-drive.

Either way, Stanaway now has his best shot yet at Bathurst 1000 glory, being with the driver and team that has won the past two championships in runaway fashion.

“To have such a high chance of winning driving with Shane is just an incredible opportunity,” he said.

“Obviously I was fairly disappointed not to pull off a full-time gig with the Boost car so if you’re not going to be racing full-time then the next best thing is to co-drive at Triple Eight with Shane.

“It has just worked out perfectly and I’m just looking forward to working with the team.”

Stanaway won’t have to wait long for his first Triple Eight race meeting, joining forces with Jamie Whincup and Prince Jefri Ibrahim in a Bathurst 12 Hour Pro-Am entry next month. He cut his first laps in the Boost Mobile Mercedes-AMG GT3 on Wednesday at The Bend.

The 31-year-old discusses various other topics on the podcast, including his expectations of Gen3, his future beyond 2023 and how the 12 Hour opportunity will be of particular benefit.

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