Stanaway to turn first Triple Eight Supercars laps at SMP

Richie Stanaway (left) will drive with Shane van Gisbergen (right) in this year's Bathurst 1000

Richie Stanaway (left) will drive with Shane van Gisbergen (right) in this year’s Bathurst 1000

Richie Stanaway will get his first drive in a Triple Eight Race Engineering Supercar in today’s official pre-season test.

The 2017 Sandown 500 winner this year steps into the hotseat of the #97 Red Bull Ampol Racing entry for the enduros after two Bathurst 1000 wins in the past three years for Shane van Gisbergen and Garth Tander, the latter of whom has defected to Grove Racing.

A Triple Eight spokesperson has confirmed that both Stanaway and Jamie Whincup are due to drive at Sydney Motorsport Park today in what is formally the team’s first test day of 2023, having accumulated total mileage of around 650km when it shook down its first two Chevrolet Camaros on February 9.

They have already driven with each other, earlier this month when they and Prince Jefri Ibrahim guided a Mercedes-AMG GT3 to third in the Pro-Am class in the Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.

That was the very first outing for Stanaway with the Banyo-based outfit, which he described to that Sunday as “probably the best team I’ve ever worked in.”

The former factory Aston Martin driver explained, “It’s not that I’m surprised, because obviously, you don’t walk into a team that’s successful and not expect things to be executed as well as they are … The operation of the team is very impressive.

“So it’s, for me, just a huge privilege to be a part of it.”

Triple Eight will field both van Gisbergen’s #97 Camaro and Broc Feeney’s #88 entry today, although it will expand to three cars for at least the Repco Bathurst 1000 again, with Craig Lowndes and Zane Goddard to pair up in the Supercheap Auto wildcard entry.

Cars #88 and #97 were shaken down in a testing livery, before the regular look was revealed in recent days.

The new look for the Red Bull Ampol Racing entries

Today in Sydney, several additional drivers are set to get laps.

They include Tickford Racing’s newly announced quartet of enduro steerers in Garry Jacobson, Tyler Everingham, James Moffat, and Zak Best, who will have a good opportunity to get track time considering Declan Fraser has been ruled out of testing the #56 Ford Mustang due to illness.

At Grove Racing, Garth Tander is slated to drive both the #19 and #26 Mustangs of Matt Payne and David Reynolds respectively, although which he hops into come September’s Penrite Oil Sandown 500 is as yet unconfirmed.

Walkinshaw Andretti United has already run Warren Luff in Chaz Mostert’s Mobil 1 Optus Mustang and Fabian Coulthard in Nick Percat’s Mobil 1 NTI Mustang at Winton, something which seems likely to be repeated today in Sydney.

Erebus Motorsport similarly can call on Jack Perkins, who has been confirmed for another year as co-driver in the #9 Will Brown entry.

Pit lane opens this morning at 08:30 local time/AEDT.

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