Groves to field Payne in Sepang GT enduro

07 Mar
Matt Payne will get pre-AGP laps in a Mercedes-AMG, with Penrite Racing engineers also set for Malaysia
  • Matt Payne to race with Groves at Sepang 12 Hours

  • Groves shift from Porsche to Mercedes-AMG

  • Groves handed Richie Stanaway GT debut in December

Penrite Racing star Matt Payne will get pre-Melbourne SuperSprint miles with Grove Racing at the upcoming Sepang 12 Hours.

Payne, 21, is eighth in the Repco Supercars Championship standings heading to the Melbourne SuperSprint on March 21-24.

The New Zealander, who recently completed a rookie test day at Winton Motor Raceway, will join father-son duo Stephen and Brenton Grove in Malaysia on March 16.

The Sepang 12 Hour marks the Groves' competitive debut with Mercedes-AMG machinery, having raced predominantly with Porsches.

The Groves will follow the Sepang race with appearances at the 24 Hours of Portimao in May, the Indy 8 Hour, and Gulf 12 Hour in Abu Dhabi.

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The Groves will also race with support from Supercars arm of the business, Penrite Racing, and will be joined by Earl Bamber Motorsport for at-track and logistical support.

Notably, the team will take Supercars race engineers Jack Bell (Payne) and Alistair McVean (Richie Stanaway) to its international events, to give them more experience.

It comes after the Groves handed Stanaway a drive at the Abu Dhabi event last year, which ended abruptly due to a crash.

Stephen and Brenton Grove will also contest the entire Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS calendar as a bronze and silver combination, with the new season getting underway at Phillip Island on April 12-14.

"We’re really excited to do some domestic racing, which has been rare over the past few years," Brenton Grove said.


"We haven’t ever done a full season in GT World Challenge Australia, however after a lot of the changes that have been announced over Christmas and knowing how SRO work, we couldn’t help but commit to the full season. The calendar and championship is shaping up to be super exciting.

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“We’ve already settled in really well with the AMG after Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sepang. The biggest benefit will be back on Australian tracks that we know so the learning process with the car should be a lot less difficult.

“We’re utilising the race engineers from our Supercar program throughout the season, so it’s really exciting to grow Grove Racing’s presence further. We’ve competed in GT for many years now, however it’s the first time that the Supercar operation has had any real involvement.

"We’re taking Alistair and Jack to our overseas races this year too, so it’s exciting to grow the engineering knowledge of Grove Racing in another discipline.

"From what we’ve seen it appears the field is quite competitive. This is another bonus as we want to be racing the best. The better the field, the bigger the show and that’s important during this growth period of GT racing in Australia."

Stephen Grove added: "I really love the [Mercedes]. It’s great to drive and to have one here in the Australian championship and one for our overseas races is super exciting.

"Brenton and I have raced together for so long, and it’s fantastic that we can continue to do that amongst a very competitive local field.

"Some of the other Pro-Am cars have gold or platinum rated drivers, usually drivers from Supercars or overseas imports. That puts a lot of responsibility on Brenton and myself, so it just means we need to work hard.

"We’ll see how we go, but I’m looking forward to doing it again in a new car."

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