Richie Stanaway ticks off first weekend with Grove Racing in Abu Dhabi
Stanaway shared a Porsche 911 GT3 R with Stephen and Brenton Grove
Stephen suffered big crash just over an hour into 12-hour race
Richie Stanaway had his first weekend in the Grove Racing camp in Abu Dhabi at the weekend, but a crash prevented the Kiwi from racing on Sunday.
Stanaway, the 2023 Repco Bathurst 1000 winner, has signed on with Penrite Racing for the 2024 Repco Supercars Championship.
Team owners Stephen and Brenton Grove handed the New Zealander an early debut in Grove colours at last weekend’s Intercontinental GT Challenge finale in Abu Dhabi.
Stanaway combined with the father and son duo in the team's Porsche 911 GT3 R, co-run by Earl Bamber Motorsport, at the Gulf 12 Hour at the Yas Marina Circuit.
The GT cameo came just weeks after Stanaway sampled a Penrite Racing Gen3 Ford Mustang Supercar at Queensland Raceway at a team ride day.
The Pro-Am Grove Porsche started the race 16th outright in the 26-car field, with Stephen also in contention for the Independent Cup.
Brenton started the race, before handing over to his father. However, Stephen was pitched into a high-speed crash at the first corner after 80 minutes, triggering a full course yellow.
Grove senior was unharmed, but the car was out on the spot. Stanaway was unable to turn a lap in the 12-hour race, which was eventually won Mercedes-AMG’s Maro Engel, Luca Stolz and Mikael Grenier.
It was an unfortunate end to what was a big year for the Groves, who steered their Porsche to an outright four at the Dubai 24 Hour race earlier in the year.
The team closed out the 2023 Supercars season with wins at the Gold Coast and Adelaide for Team 18-bound David Reynolds and rookie Matt Payne, who recently inked a contract extension with the team.
Reigning and three-time Bathurst 12 Hour winner Jules Gounon won the Intercontinental GT Challenge title, with Jonathan Hui clinching the Independent Cup.
Valentino Rossi, who made his Bathurst debut in February, finished cecond overall on the day in his WRT BMW M4 GT3 with Dries Vanthoor and Nick Yelloly.
Two-time Bathurst 12 Hour winner Kenny Habul looked set to win in Pro-Am until a late issue dropped his SunEnergy1 Mercedes-AMG to third.
The 2024 Intercontinental GT Challenge will commence at Mount Panorama on February 16-18 at the Repco Bathurst 12 Hour, which is part of the 10-day Bathurst SuperFest.
The SuperFest event will conclude with the opening round of the 2024 Repco Supercars Championship, with Stanaway making his Penrite Racing Supercars debut on February 23-25.