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Whincup, Stanaway to share Boost Mercedes at Bathurst

RICHIE Stanaway will have an immediate opportunity to impress Triple Eight Race Engineering boss Jamie Whincup when they team up at the Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.

Stanaway, whose signing as Shane van Gisbergen’s Supercars co-driver was announced last Friday, will share a #99 Boost Mobile Mercedes-AMG GT3 with Whincup and Prince Jefri Ibrahim at the February 3-5 spectacle.

The trio will compete for Pro-Am honours as Stanaway returns to GT racing, in which he has top-level experience from five seasons in the FIA World Endurance Championship LMGTE class (2013-17).

INTERVIEW: More with Richie Stanaway on this week’s podcast

That included three starts in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, all coming in an Aston Martin Vantage GTE.

“This year’s Bathurst 12 Hour is going to be a great race to be a part of,” said Stanaway.

“I’ve never raced at the 12 Hour before. I did a lot of GT racing when I was in Europe, but it’s been two years now since I’ve driven a GT car.

“I’m looking forward to getting the feeling of a GT car again with its extra downforce compared to what I’ve driven in the past few years.

“It’s going to really helpful for me to drive at Bathurst again and complete more laps than what I would have done at last year’s Bathurst 1000.

Pic: Supplied

“It’s one of the top international events in the world, and I’m looking forward to experiencing what it’s like.

“I’m also excited to be sharing a car with Prince Jefri and Jamie – he’s someone I’ve looked up to my whole career.”

Ironically, rival 2022 Repco Bathurst 1000 wildcard brands Boost and Supercheap Auto will both run as naming rights sponsors with Triple Eight at the 12 Hour, the latter supporting the team’s Pro entry for Shane van Gisbergen, Broc Feeney and Maximilian Götz.

“The Bathurst 12 Hour is one of the highest-regarded events on the international motorsport calendar – you just have to look at some of the names participating in their year’s race to prove that,” said Whincup, who won the event in 2017.

“Teaming up with both Prince Jefri and Richie and having the backing of Boost Mobile and Johor Motorsports Racing is an exciting prospect.

“Prince Jefri achieved an amazing podium finish at last year’s race, and we all know what Richie is capable of around Mount Panorama.

“To have two Triple Eight-prepared cars participating in this event alongside the world’s best teams is an experience we should all cherish.”

Whincup and Ibrahim. Pic: Supplied

Ibrahim twice enjoyed Mount Panorama success last year, combining with van Gisbergen and Feeney for a Bathurst 12 Hour podium and winning a three-hour GT race with Feeney in November.

“This year’s Bathurst 12 Hour will be interesting as there are a lot more cars and international teams entering; competition will be high, but I’m really looking forward to working alongside Jamie who has a lot of experience, and wins, at this track,” said Ibrahim.

“It will be my first time driving with Richie, and I’m really excited by our team this year.

“Triple Eight have been working so hard towards this race, and we hope to have a good result, carrying on the positive momentum of last year to fight against the field in 2023.”

Triple Eight ran the car which won the 2022 Bathurst 12 Hour, the SunEnergy1 Mercedes-AMG driven by Jules Gounon, Luca Stolz, Martin Konrad and Kenny Habul.

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