GRM retains Caruso for Ipswich

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 17/07/2019
  • By Stefan Bartholomaeus

Michael Caruso will again substitute for Richie Stanaway at the Century Batteries Ipswich SuperSprint, as the Kiwi continues his recovery from injury.

A nerve impingement in his neck has kept Stanaway out of the seat since the end of the Saturday race at Winton in late-May.

PIRTEK Enduro Cup co-driver Chris Pither was called in for the Sunday Winton race and Hidden Valley, before Caruso took over in Townsville.

The team has now confirmed that Stanaway will remain on the sidelines for next weekend’s Ipswich event.

GRM director Barry Rogers stressed the team’s support for the driver, with hope that he’ll be back for the following event at Tailem Bend on August 23-25.

“The doctor who is treating him has advised us he’s on the mend, but it’s taking time,” Rogers told Supercars.com.

“Richie's been told he’s not ready to undertake strenuous activity, including motorsport, and we have to go on that advice. His well-being is the most important thing.

“He’s undergoing further treatment and with the big gap between Ipswich and Tailem Bend, we’re hoping he is right to go for that event.”

Rogers explained the decision to stick with Caruso, who is contracted to Tickford Racing for the PIRTEK Enduro Cup, as opting for consistency.

Caruso qualified last for both races in Townsville and finished 22nd on the Saturday, but made the most of the wet weather on Sunday, taking the flag ninth.

That complemented a seventh place for James Golding, marking the first two top 10 finishes for GRM this season.

“We wanted to have some consistency, rather than be chopping and changing again,” said Rogers.

“Chris was an obvious option, but we think he’s well and truly ready for the enduros, and we didn’t want to get into the process of applying for special consideration to do more events.

“From a performance point of view, we need to find something, and having the consistency from Townsville should be a good thing for us.

“Michael impressed us with his leadership and his attitude in Townsville, he was focused not on achieving something for himself, but assisting us as much as he could.

“I’d like to think that with another week in the car we could find some performance gains there, with the car and driver as a combination.”

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