Stanaway (left) and van Gisbergen (right) shape up as potential favorites for this year’s Great Race.
What’s expected to be the most formidable entry on this year’s Repco Bathurst 1000 grid is set to be an all-Kiwi affairwith Red Bull Ampol Racing confirming this morning that Shane van Gisbergen is set to be partnered with Richie Stanaway.
Stanaway will share the No. 97 Chevrolet Camaro with the defending series champion at the Sandown 500 curtain-raiser (a race Stanaway has won previously) and the subsequent ‘Great Race’ in October.
Stanaway unceremoniously exited the sport at the end of 2019 following a torrid few full-time seasons in Supercars. His career has been reignited, however, following a star performance at last year’s Bathurst 1000 as a wildcard entry alongside Greg Murphy; the pair finished 11th.
“I’m incredibly excited to be joining the team in 2023. It’s a huge opportunity for me and I’m so grateful to work with such an amazing team,” said Stanaway.
“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 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,” added van Gisbergen.
“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 .”
Stanaway went on to thank Murphy and Boost Mobile chief executive Peter Adderton for the opportunity to compete in the 2022 Bathurst 1000 and show that he is still talented enough to be a Supercars frontrunner.
“I want to thank Boost Mobile and Peter Adderton for their support, as well as Greg Murphy who I drove with last year,” he added. “They’ve been instrumental in getting me back on the right track which has led to this opportunity. I also want to thank the team at Triple Eight for putting their faith in me and giving me this amazing opportunity.”
The 2023 Supercars season kicks off with the Newcastle 500 on March 10–12, with the Sandown 500 and Bathurst 1000 scheduled for September 15–17 and October 5–8.