Stanaway proud after stunning Taupō charge

21 Apr
"Awesome to make up for the bad qualifying we had this morning. So, feeling a lot better now after that"
  • Richie Stanaway raced from 23rd to sixth on Saturday

  • Stanaway moved back to fourth in the points with the result

  • Kiwi looking for more pace after late-race fadeout

Richie Stanaway was proud to translate his qualifying nightmare into a stunning charge in Taupō, which helped the Penrite Racing driver regain fourth in the standings.

Stanaway qualified worst of the five New Zealanders in 23rd, but avoided the chaos to power to sixth in Saturday’s ITM Taupō Super400 wet-weather opener won by countryman Andre Heimgartner.

The 2023 Bathurst winner was just 1.8s behind fifth-placed Jack Le Brocq, who raced from 16th, while seventh-placed James Golding motored from 22nd.

However, no driver could match Stanaway’s 17-position gain, which was the biggest of the season to date after seven races.

Critically, with others around him suffering poor races, Stanaway moved back to fourth in the points, where he sat after the Bathurst season opener.

Kostecki bowls out Reynolds, Courtney at Turn 1

Notably, Nick Percat struggled from 24th to 19th after picking up a Full Course Yellow speeding penalty, while David Reynolds was spun out by Brodie Kostecki.


"Yeah, awesome to make up for the bad qualifying we had this morning,” Stanaway said after the race.

"So, feeling a lot better now after that. It was a tricky race. It was very chaotic out there. Had to avoid a lot of incidents and just be patient and use the car speed. The car was really quick.

“I had to bide my time coming through. Just happy to have made up for that bad qualifying this morning, and get a good morale boost for car 26 here at Penrite Racing.

“We're just going to try and turn around that qualifying speed tomorrow and hopefully we can qualify better.”

The race was a major test in the comeback of Stanaway, whose return season is just seven races old. However, the Tauranga native was more focused about finding more pace in his Penrite Mustang after fading late in the race.

“It was tough out there. A little bit physically and definitely mentally as well,” he said.

"Had to just keep chipping away at it. Would have been nice to have a little bit extra speed to get up and fight with those guys on the podium.

“But, just didn't quite have it at the end there."

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