Business lessons driving Groves' Supercars efforts

  • Repco Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 10/11/2022
  • By James Pavey

Building a team with the belief it can "beat the Triple Eights of the world” is key to the Groves’ Supercars efforts.

Stephen and Brenton Grove have overseen Penrite Racing’s sharp turnaround in 2022, led by David Reynolds.

Reynolds has scored seven podiums and two poles this season to lie seventh overall.

The 2022 season has been the first for the Groves in charge of the Braeside team.

The Groves bought into Kelly Racing’s Supercars team last year, before taking over altogether from 2022.

Significant investment has been poured into the team, and highly-regarded personnel have followed.

In 18 months, the team has recruited the likes of Reynolds, Lee Holdsworth, and title-winning engineers David Cauchi and Grant McPherson.

The Groves arrived in 2021

Cauchi and McPherson both won Bathursts and championships with Triple Eight.

It’s Triple Eight that Grove is benchmarking his team against — but creating a winning mentality is his next task.

That is off the back of over 20 years’ experience for Stephen, with the Grove Group now a business and construction powerhouse.

The Grove Group now employs over 400 direct and indirect employees in five locations nationwide.

“For me, it’s about getting in there and winning,” Stephen Grove said on the latest Life Before Supercars documentary.

“Benchmarking myself against how well Roland [Dane] has done, Roland’s been a big success story.

“That’s the part that grows us as business people and in our sport.

Andre Heimgartner won for KGR last May

“The Supercar team is about building the right infrastructure and building the right team.

“It’s to bring discipline that you need in business... to curate the right environment, get the right people.

“Most importantly, get people to understand that you can beat the Triple Eights of the world. They do a fantastic job, and good on them.

"But our job is to try and beat them and have an organisation that understands you can beat them.”

Grove reiterated that buying into the team came with the motivation to win races.

Reynolds has come close a number of times this season, most recently on the Gold Coast.

The 2017 Bathurst winner sailed to Saturday pole before following home Shane van Gisbergen.

Reynolds has been a renewed force in 2022

The team has one more chance to win with its old Mustangs before the Gen3 era commences in 2023.

That will prove the Groves’ biggest test yet as they race with brand new cars for the first time.

The team will enter 2023 with a strong driver line-up and arguably one of the best engineering line-ups in the paddock.

The Groves are no stranger to winning — they recently skippered Matt Campbell to FIA Motorsport Games victory.

They also boast five Bathurst 12 Hour class victories.

The team has also fostered several young drivers such as Scott McLaughlin and Anton De Pasquale to future success.

That could grow in the coming weeks, with Matt Payne a chance to win the 2022 Super2 title.

'We’re certainly not there just to own a Supercar team'

For Grove, lessons learned in his own business have proven crucial in building a winning Supercars team.

The final step is winning, something Grove is driven by.

“The opportunity with the Kelly family came up — we thought that was something we could grab a hold of,” Grove said.

“For me, it’s about the challenge… the challenge of, ‘Can we get to the top, and how do we get to the top?’

“It’s no different to business… getting the right people in place, and the competitiveness.

“We’re certainly not there just to own a Supercar team — we’re there to win.

“That’s what drives me. Hopefully we can achieve something down the track.”

Reynolds and Holdsworth are seventh and 13th respectively heading to the Adelaide finale.

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