Super2 Series team Grove Racing will run a retro Tasman Motorsport livery at Sandown in a nod to the Grove Group’s introduction to motorsport.
The hire company, owned by Carrera Cup Pro-Am racer Stephen Grove, backed Tasman’s two VE Commodores as primary sponsor for the 2007 Oran Park Supercars Championship round under the team’s rolling sponsorship model.
For the Sandown Super2 round, Stephen’s son Brenton will adopt the same black and orange hues which Greg Murphy and the late Jason Richards raced with on a rainy weekend at Supercars’ second-last meeting at the Sydney circuit.
The tribute even includes a switch from Grove’s regular #10 to Murphy’s trademark #51, Tasman’s tiger logo of the day, and, unusually, logos from Tasman’s other sponsors (including the defunct Firepower) which cycled through as major sponsors and took minor roles on the Oran Park weekend.
It marks the first time that a Dunlop Super2 Series team has run a retro livery especially for the Sandown 500 weekend, although Alex Rullo drove a Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport Commodore wrapped in a 1990s Castrol Perkins Racing scheme for most of the 2016 season.
Grove junior says that the look was an idea from his driver coach Steven Richards, who won Bathurst with Murphy in 1999.
“When we first started talking about retro round, we didn’t quite know what to do,” explained the 21-year-old.
“It was actually Richo who suggested we do this car, since it was Grove’s first foray into motorsport and also Supercars.
“I still have this car framed on my wall at home with Murph’s signature.
“It’s pretty amazing how things have gone full circle, from me always supporting Murph to him now commentating on my race.
“It’s pretty special because he has been a family friend for quite a while now.”
Brenton Grove is currently 22nd in the series in his rookie Super2 season in the VF Commodore which Craig Lowndes raced last year but is buoyed by the chance to race on a track which he saw in Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge and Porsche Wilson Security Carrera Cup last year.
“Sandown is the first real track I have been to before,” he noted.
“I’m hoping for a good solid weekend where I can really build on my learnings so far. I can’t wait to hit the track.”
Tasman picked up three top 10 finishes across the three races at Oran Park in 2007, including a fifth for Richards in Race 2 after he had qualified seventh for the opener.
Stephen Grove went on to launch his team in Porsche Wilson Security Carrera Cup Australia in 2012, and is currently second in the TAG Heuer Pro-Am class having won the gentleman driver title in 2017 and 2014.
In February, father and son combined with Ben Barker and Daniel Gaunt to win Class B in the Bathurst 12 Hour.
Super2 supports the Rabble.Club Sandown 500 on September 14-16.