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Triple Eight signs Stanaway for van Gisbergen co-drive

RICHIE Stanaway will be unleashed alongside Shane van Gisbergen in an all-star combination for the 2023 Supercars endurance season.

Triple Eight wasted little time in pursuing Stanaway once it became aware of Garth Tander’s off-season switch to Grove Racing, and they’ve now officially got their man.

It puts the supreme if enigmatic talent of Stanaway into what has become the most coveted co-drive, working with one of his biggest supporters in van Gisbergen.

The deal follows Stanaway’s impressive comeback last October, where he thrived in wet conditions to make the Repco Bathurst 1000’s Top 10 Shootout.

“I’m incredibly excited to be joining the team in 2023,” he said. “It’s a huge opportunity for me and I’m so grateful to work with such an amazing team.

“It’s the best possible outcome for me after doing the wildcard program at Bathurst last year.

“To drive for, arguably, the best team in the field with the best driver in the category is the best-case scenario as a co-driver – I can’t ask for much more than that.

“For now, it’s about preparing as best as I can and getting my racing mileage up as much as possible. I’ll continue to do a lot of simulator work to stay sharp – that was the main way I prepared for Bathurst in 2022.

“It’s quite refreshing going from having to do the primary driving last year at Bathurst with minimal preparation to having a co-driver role without being in a car a lot of the time.

“It was quite a big ask to come back last year and take on the primary driver role, obviously because I hadn’t been racing much over the last three years. It’s given me confidence having done that now and stepping into this co-driver role.”

Richie Stanaway. Pic: Brett Phibbs / PhibbsVisuals

Stanaway reserved special thanks to Boost Mobile boss Peter Adderton and mentor/co-driver Greg Murphy for “getting me back on the right track”.

The now 31-year-old had walked away from the sport at the end of 2019 following a torrid couple of seasons.

His ability has almost never been in question, however, with a resume featuring GP2 race wins in Monaco and Sochi plus conquering the 2017 Sandown 500 with Cam Waters.

“Triple Eight’s ethos is about providing the necessary resources to support talented drivers in reaching their full potential, which I think we’re yet to see with Richie,” said Triple Eight team principal Jamie Whincup.

“His performance at last year’s Bathurst 1000 is a testament to what he can achieve in this sport.

“He’ll be an exciting addition to the team, and I can’t wait to see what this Kiwi combo can achieve come enduro season.”

Van Gisbergen spoke of the plan to integrate Stanaway into the team.

“It’s exciting to team up with Richie this year. It was great to see him come back last year, and he did an awesome job at Bathurst with Murph,” he said.

“This year’s enduro season, especially given the Sandown 500 is back, should give him a chance to get acquainted with the team, a feel for the car and an understanding of how we all work – it’s going to be cool.

“He’s been in some good equipment before as a co-driver and winning Sandown back in 2017. I think with Triple Eight, he has every opportunity to help us get a good result, and I think he’ll be a huge asset for us.

“Richie will attend all of our test days and ride days, and probably a few races throughout the year as well, just to learn how we approach things and become a part of the team as early as possible, so when it comes time to drive he’ll be ready to go.”

Whincup is the frontrunner for the Car #88 co-drive with Broc Feeney, pending efforts to find a new wildcard teammate for Craig Lowndes given Declan Fraser’s departure to Tickford Racing.

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