The bold Bathurst team built by the fans

  • Repco Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 09/06/2021
  • By James Pavey

Boost Mobile founder Peter Adderton has attributed Supercars fans for the recently-announced Greg Murphy and Richie Stanaway wildcard entry.

Murphy and Stanaway were confirmed Wednesday to steer a Boost Mobile-backed Erebus Motorsport Commodore in October’s Repco Bathurst 1000.

Both drivers, in Murphy’s words, are green; Murphy hasn’t raced a Supercar since 2014, while Stanaway retired at the end of 2019.

Adderton sent tongues wagging about a possible Murphy-Stanaway wildcard back in April on social media.

Speaking to Supercars.com, Adderton said the overwhelming response from fans was impetus to make the deal happen.

“It was a lot of hard work trying to get this together,” he said.

“I reckon it’s the first team which has been grown by social media.

“The idea was put on social media, and it was half tongue-in-cheek, but all the messages I was getting, and the response I had from the fans saying, ‘Please make it happen’, it took on a life of its own.

“This is a team which was basically built by the fans. The fans wanted it, and we went out and tried to deliver it.

“We’re super excited.”

While both drivers are short on seat time, both have considerable pedigree, with four-time Bathurst winner Murphy one of Mount Panorama’s favourite sons.

It will also pit Murphy against long-time rival Russell Ingall, who will share a Supercheap Auto-backed Triple Eight wildcard with teenager Broc Feeney.

For Adderton, returning names such as Murphy and Stanaway back to the Supercars fold is a win for the sport and its fans.

“I think it’s huge to have them both back,” he said.

“An important part of Supercars is the entertainment factor, and what these guys will do is bring an added entertainment element to Bathurst.

“Bathurst is such an iconic race, and it’ll be cool to have guys like Richie and Greg turn up in a wildcard.

“I love the term ‘wildcard’, because it really is wild, you never know what’s going to happen.”

It also sees a continuation of the long-standing relationship between Adderton and Murphy, which began over 20 years ago in New Zealand.

“To be able to see him come back and do this, I think it’s fantastic,” Adderton said of his friend.

“Greg and I have a friendship of well over 20 years; I was there at the start of his career.

“To be there at the last part of his career, and bring him back, I think is really good for us.”

Therein lies the Erebus factor, with the team a competitive Bathurst outfit since it won the race in 2017.

While both drivers will need time to regain fitness, Adderton was confident Erebus can deliver the two a competitive package.

“Anyone who knows me, I’m very competitive,” he said.

“I didn’t put them together as some circus sideshow freak act.

“I put them together because I actually believe they have the talent to do well.

“They might be coming in greener than the other guys, but Richie’s still under 30; he’s still in his 20s, so it’s not like he’s washed up.

“He’s a very talented driver, and he had a lot of bad luck in the teams he was involved with before.”

No stranger to speaking his mind, Adderton was adamant the wildcard was no PR exercise; rather, he has handpicked two drivers which are already zeroing in on October’s big challenge.

“I have expectations that they’ll do well, but I don’t expect them to be lapped two or three times,” Adderton said.

“It’ll get serious for those guys; they might joke and laugh now, but I heard them in the car yesterday as we were going along and I could hear the competitive nature, ‘What car are we getting?’ ‘Who’s the engineer?’

“The racer kicked back in very quickly and that was really encouraging for me.”

The Repco Supercars Championship field will return to the mountain for the Repco Bathurst 1000 across October 7-10.

The event will be broadcast live on Foxtel and will be streamed on Kayo, and will be broadcast live and free on Seven.

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