Waters progress not a template for Stanaway

  • 11/02/2018
  • By Mitchell Adam
  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

Tickford Racing's approach and expectations for Cameron Waters over the last two seasons will count for little when Richie Stanaway starts his rookie Supercars campaign next month.

Waters made his full-time debut with the team - then known as Prodrive Racing Australia - in 2016, after winning the Dunlop Super2 Series and filling in as Chaz Mostert’s late-season injury replacement in '15.

He finished 19th in the championship as a rookie, but in 2017 rose to eighth and took his first race win alongside Stanaway at Sandown.

Stanaway joins Tickford with a vastly-different CV after nearly a decade in Europe, but has contested the last two PIRTEK Enduro Cups and a Super2 round with the Ford team.

Team principal Tim Edwards said there aren’t any major lessons from its approach with Waters that would be applied as its new recruit gets up to speed.

"It's a case by case approach," he told Supercars.com. "The reality is Cam’s Cam and Richie’s Richie.

"All drivers have various strengths and weaknesses and he might prove us all wrong and might just go out to a track he’s never been to before and have a whale of a time.

"You don’t know what you don’t know. We’re just trying to be realistic with our expectations, both internally and externally.

"There's no doubt he’s a star driver, but it just takes time and you’re up against some of the best drivers in the world in this category, in a category where such small margins can make such a big difference. It's going to be tough."

Stanaway completed a rookie test day last week at Winton, where Waters went through a shakedown of his new-for-2018 chassis.

With experience at Sydney Motorsport Park, Sandown, Bathurst and the Gold Coast, Stanaway will have raced a Supercar at four of the 16 venues on the 2018 calendar.

Cam Waters of Prodrive Racing Australia during the ,  at the , , , October 06, 2017.

The New Zealander has also tested and undertaken co-driver practice sessions at Winton, and participated in the latter at Queensland Raceway.

Stanaway also has experience of Albert Park, Symmons Plains, Hidden Valley and Pukekohe from Formula Ford campaigns either side of the Tasman.

The bulk of his racing, though, has come in junior single-seater classes in Europe and as a factory Aston Martin GT driver.

Of the drivers to have entered Supercars from beyond the now-routine time in Super2 in recent years, Simona De Silvestro last season and Robert Dahlgren in 2014 share the best championship result of 24th.

"There's no doubt with his credentials he's a welcome addition to not only this team but also to the category," Edwards said of Stanaway.

"Both Richie and myself are realistic as well about the expectations for year one.

"Some incredible drivers have come in [to Supercars] and had a crack and it's not easy.

"There’ll be tracks that Richie goes to that he's never been to before.

"And when you when you're in a category where one tenth can be about 15 grid positions, it could be that small margin while he’s just getting his head round a certain track or a certain corner or whatever it is that could make it tough for him.

"But he’s realistic about it, I’m realistic about it, that’s just a part of going on that journey."

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