Why Stanaway is eager for Taupō 'clean slate'

15 Apr
Richie Stanaway will be one of five Kiwis racing this weekend, but all 24 are racing a Supercar there for the first time
  • Richie Stanaway keen for "clean slate" at Taupō

  • Taupō will make Supercars debut this weekend

  • 2023 Bathurst winner Stanaway one of five Kiwis on the grid

Richie Stanaway says the new Taupō event offers a “clean slate” for Supercars drivers, with the Penrite Racing driver not playing catch-up this weekend.

Stanaway, last year’s Bathurst 1000 winner, will be one of five local heroes to compete at this weekend’s ITM Taupō Super400.

Taupō will host a Supercars round for the very first time, replacing Auckland’s Pukekohe Park Raceway. While several drivers had prior Supercars experience at Pukekohe, Supercars’ debut at Taupō represents a new frontier for the championship.

That is key for Stanaway, who was firmly on the comeback trail in the first two rounds at the established venues of Mount Panorama and Albert Park.

“For me, it’s very exciting to be racing in New Zealand,” Stanaway said.

Road to Taupō Episode 2: The Kiwi Veterans

“No one’s raced at Taupō before, so I'm looking forward to not being a year behind everyone else, obviously coming back full-time.

“I'm looking forward to that clean slate for everyone. It’s great to head home for a race.”

Stanaway and teammate Matt Payne will campaign a one-off Kiwi-inspired livery at the April 19-21 event, with the black on the Penrite Fords making way for silver, ferns, Kiwi birds and New Zealand.

The event will be Stanaway’s first in New Zealand as a racer since the 2019 Pukekohe event, with the Tauranga native keen for a rare opportunity to race in front of family and friends.

“Having friends and family around, and racing in my home country… it’s not something I get to do a lot,” he said.

“I did most of my career racing internationally, either in Europe or the US or in Australia.

"It's very rare for me to actually race at a professional level in my home country. It’s something that I’m looking forward to."

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