Richie Stanaway is braced for a challenging rookie Supercars season, despite an impressive build-up to his full-time debut.
After two years as a PIRTEK Enduro Cup co-driver, the 26-year-old’s Supercars sojourn takes another step this weekend in Adelaide as he lines up as a primary driver for the first time.
Stanaway has moved to the main game with Tickford Racing, having impressed the team with a series of strong enduro drives and a winning one-off Super2 appearance last year.
The Kiwi chose to focus on Supercars at the expense of his European career, which had most recently included a stint in the World Endurance Championship with Aston Martin.
His #56 Ford has arrived in Adelaide carrying Tickford branding on its doors, although it is understood that could change during the weekend as the team looks to finalise a sponsorship deal.
Bonnet sponsorship comes from MEGA Fuels, which had been the primary backer of the car last year when driven by Jason Bright.
Despite his pedigree and promise, Stanaway expects to find it tough going this year, as other rookies have done before him.
Last year's two rookies, Simona De Silvestro and Alex Rullo, ended up 24th and 29th in points respectively, with the latter not completing the season.
Stanaway is one of five rookies in this year’s field, joining Todd Hazelwood (Matt Stone Racing), Jack Le Brocq (Tekno Autosports), Anton De Pasquale (Erebus Motorsport) and James Golding (Garry Rogers Motorsport).