Adderton delighted that Stanaway proved ‘naysayers’ wrong

Shane van Gisbergen (left) and Richie Stanaway (right) with the Peter Brock Trophy after winning the 2023 Bathurst 1000. Image: Supplied

Shane van Gisbergen (left) and Richie Stanaway (right) with the Peter Brock Trophy after winning the 2023 Bathurst 1000. Image: Supplied

Peter Adderton has been left delighted that Richie Stanaway was able to prove “negative naysayers” wrong with his victory in the Repco Bathurst 1000 and career rebirth.

The 31-year-old stood on the top step of the Mount Panorama podium with friend and fellow New Zealander Shane van Gisbergen after just his third Supercars race back from a period in exile.

Now he is not only a Great Race winner, but has already secured a full-time drive in the Repco Supercars Championship again next year.

Triple Eight Race Engineering had seen enough to entrust him with the co-drive in the #97 Red Bull Ampol Camaro, and Grove Racing/Penrite Racing signed him up to drive a Ford Mustang next year even before this year’s enduros, but there were few other takers for Stanaway’s services, according to Adderton.

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“You would be surprised [at] the amount of teams that I spoke to about giving Richie a ride – recently – who just didn’t see what we saw,” the maverick telco magnate told the Speedcafe Podcast.

“Now everyone’s seen what we saw and now they’re all patting Richie on the back.

“So, for me, it was it was good for Richie, good for his family, but also good to show those negative naysayers exactly what Richie was capable of.”

Adderton is a crucial player in the Stanaway story.

While his Boost Mobile brand has been a long-time backer of his, it was the bold plan to field Stanaway and fellow Kiwi Greg Murphy in a wildcard entry at the 2021 Bathurst 1000 which, in hindsight, can be looked back upon as a pivotal moment in Supercars history.

In addition to convincing a reluctant Murphy to interrupt his retirement, Adderton also lured Stanaway out of a period in exile from motorsport in general.

A GP2 race winner and former factory Aston Martin driver, Stanaway burst onto the Supercars scene with a stunning performance in the wet at the 2016 Sandown 500, and won that race a year later as co-driver to Cam Waters.

What followed was a disastrous two-year run as a full-time Supercars driver, initially at Tickford Racing and then at Garry Rogers Motorsport, after which he retired from motorsport but had seemingly outstayed his welcome anyway, at least with most.

The wildcard with Erebus Motorsport did not come to fruition in 2021 due to COVID restrictions, and was almost scuttled a year later when one of the squad’s other ZB Commodores was heavily damaged in a crash in the event prior to the Great Race, at Pukekohe.

However, Erebus rallied and Stanaway would qualify fifth in awful conditions at Mount Panorama last October, then go on to take 11th despite Car #51 being turned around mid-race.

According to Adderton, the Tauranga native had suffered in “poor environment[s]” before the Boost/Erebus wildcard and the gig with Triple Eight.

“I think those who knew Richie knew what he was capable of,” he remarked.

“I’ve seen this in business and I’ve seen this in athletes as well; if you remove them from a poor environment, a negative environment, and you put them into a positive environment – which is exactly what Triple Eight did and exactly what we did with the wildcard – you extract the best out of anybody.

“So, what I was proud to see was Richie really come into his own [and] be The Richie we all knew.”

For much more forthright commentary from Adderton on Stanaway, and Supercars broadly, listen to the latest Speedcafe Podcast.

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