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HomeNewsWhincup: Stanaway was Triple Eight's top target

Whincup: Stanaway was Triple Eight’s top target

TRIPLE Eight Race Engineering team principal Jamie Whincup says Richie Stanaway was the “obvious choice” to partner Shane van Gisbergen in the 2023 Repco Supercars Championship enduros.

As soon as it became clear that Garth Tander was departing to Grove Racing, despite having won two of the past three Bathurst 1000s with van Gisbergen, various high-profile names were linked to the #97 seat.

V8 Sleuth was first to report Stanaway as a frontrunner, with Scott McLaughlin and Nick Cassidy also mentioned in subsequent days.

Speaking of the decision to lock in Stanaway, Whincup described the Kiwi as a “class act”.

“He was the obvious choice for Shane, Andrew Edwards and myself, and we’re really pleased to have him onboard,” Whincup told V8 Sleuth.

“Obviously we did our due diligence and absolutely looked at the market and looked at all our options and Richie was at the top of our list and we’re pleased to have grabbed our first preference.”

Whincup has spoken of Triple Eight’s passion for unleashing untapped potential and Stanaway very much fits into that category.

Stanaway won the 2017 Sandown 500 with Cam Waters. Pic: an1images.com / Dirk Klynsmith

“There’s a real opportunity here for both of us, for Richie and for Triple Eight to really open up and showcase what he’s capable of,” he said.

“We will take him on with open arms and give him the tools he needs to be able to do a solid job.

“Now we have got to remember that Richie doesn’t need to prove his seat or prove himself come enduro time this year, his job is to absolutely support Shane in the #97 car.

“So don’t expect him to be hanging it off the walls to get a lap record because that’s absolutely not the job he needs to do, although we know he is fully capable of doing that if that’s required.”

Stanaway’s most public supporter, Peter Adderton of Boost Mobile, has expressed pride at the outcome but is still keen to team up with the GP2 race winner for at least one solo wildcard appearance.

“Potentially, for sure,” Whincup replied of that prospect.

“I’m sure Pete can see the gain for Richie to be lining up alongside last year’s championship winner and the experience he would get there.

“So although Pete would love to get back in the category and I’m sure he will at some stage, it’s great that he’s allowed Richie to do what’s right for him and join us and partner up with SVG.”

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