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HomeNewsTaupō support ‘a career highlight’ for Stanaway

Taupō support ‘a career highlight’ for Stanaway

ONCE considered a villain of sorts, Richie Stanaway was blown away by the hero’s welcome New Zealand fans put on for Supercars’ Kiwi quintet at Taupō.

Grove Racing was a particular favourite among locals on the weekend given its all-NZ roster of Stanaway and Matt Payne, who topped Saturday qualifying and the Sunday Top 10 Shootout.

Stanaway by contrast lacked one-lap pace but moved forward in both races, headlined by a 23rd-to-sixth charge in the opening encounter.

“It’s been probably a career highlight for me in terms of support from fans here at the track,” the 32-year-old reflected via the Supercars broadcast.

“I’ve never felt like we’ve had that much support before, so it has been incredible.

“It just would have been nice to be a little bit further up and be on the podium, but maybe (that’s) trying to achieve too much too soon.

“We have just got to chip away at it and hopefully we get there in the end.”

Team owner Stephen Grove described their weekend as solid, if not much more.

“The positive this weekend is that Richie Stanaway is back,” he said.

“It was good to see. He was out there fighting.

“Matt Payne qualified really well, but just didn’t have the car pace for the other guys.

“We keep building and building as a team, so have to keep putting our best foot forward.”

Grove Racing remains second in the teams’ championship, only behind runaway leaders Triple Eight.

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