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Why Grove Mustangs suffered at Wanneroo

THERE was one particular section of the short Wanneroo Raceway circuit that Grove Racing simply couldn’t get on top of last weekend: the Bowl.

Richie Stanaway’s accomplished race engineer Alistair McVean confessed as much in a freshly released team video debriefing the round, which proved Grove’s worst to date in 2024.

“We struggled at a very particular corner, being Turn 6, and over such a small lap there’s such small margins – two tenths was the difference between being P1 or P10 for us,” said McVean, formerly David Reynolds’ long-time right-hand man.

“If you struggled in one corner, that’s where all the margin is and it’s so tight.

“It’s going to put us in good stead for upcoming rounds because we now understand a bit more about the inherent weaknesses we have got in the car and the corner types that are going to expose those, so we can work on them.”

Richie Stanaway. Pic: Supplied/Mark Horsburgh

Aside from a fuel pump failure which ruined Stanaway’s Saturday race in Perth, the Kiwi has consistently accumulated points to the extent that he remains in the championship’s top 10.

However, it cannot be ignored that Stanaway has been outqualified by teammate Matt Payne on nine successive occasions now. McVean is duly keen to knuckle down at a Winton test on May 30.

“Richie hasn’t actually done a test day since the start of the year so we’re hanging out for that to really nail down our driving styles, exactly how we want to set up the car for Richie, and just work out how to get the most out of fresh tyres, old tyres and all those variables that take a while to get on top of in this game,” he said.

“So really looking forward to the test day and then Darwin after that to get ourselves back on the positive momentum.”

Grove Racing is now fourth in the teams’ championship, having been leapfrogged over the course of the Perth SuperSprint by race winners Walkinshaw Andretti United and Tickford Racing.

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