Richie Stanaway's blow-up due to season of frustration
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Kiwi Supercars driver Richie Stanaway's angry outburst at last weekend's round in Townsville was due to a culmination of many events in a disappointing season so far.
Stanaway let rip at his team on the radio after being told he had been sent out to finish the race with the wrong tyres on and began driving the car in a drifting manner much to the delight of the crowd and anger at team bosses, who didn't want the engine damaged.
The Sandown 500 winner explained his frustrations reached boiling point with that error on the back of a season where the Tickford Ford outfit just hasn't been in the picture pace-wise.
"It was a frustrating situation," Stanaway told The Herald. "I guess I was more letting out my frustration about the bigger picture as a whole in terms of what was happening with the team and my career. It wasn't just that one mistake that made me lose control of my emotions it was a long string of events that caused that reaction.
"It just shows that I am competitive and I want to win races."
Stanaway enjoyed a successful career racing single seaters in Europe before opting to come back to this part of the world. He impressed as a co-driver the past two seasons before earning a fulltime drive with Tickford Racing – one of the big three teams on the grid.
But all season the team has struggled to unlock any pace from their four cars and they have found themselves in the mid-lower pack.
"It has been disappointing to say the least," Stanaway said. "I knew it was going to be a little bit tough being a rookie and not knowing the tracks and lacking general experience with the car.
"Joining one of the top teams was quite a luxury. Normally you would have to go in with a lower team and prove your worth before building up to a team like this.
"I was hoping that I would at least have the third best car and that would mask the fact I was a rookie. Unfortunately it was made a little harder because our cars are middle of the road at the moment and at times closer to the back of the order.
"In saying that the good thing about the situation is all three of my teammates are capable of winning races, one has won a championship, so I try not to look at the overall situation but compare myself to those guys."
The class of the 26-year-old shone through at the Winton round this year – the one track so far where he has some prior experience. He recorded a top 10 finish and was the pick of the Tickford drivers giving him confidence that the issues so far can be attributed to his lack of experience on new tracks and a badly under-performing car.
"I was comfortably fastest or second fastest at that track. I could see it 10 minutes into the first practice. When you start with a good base you are always ahead of the curve.
"That is the one thing that is giving me hope for next year – going back to the tracks and knowing the circuits, hopefully with a fast car.
"No-one that has been successful in this championship has done it overnight. It took Shane [van Gisbergen] 10 years to win his champion. [Jamie] Whincup got fired after his first year in the main game."
Stanaway has two more sprint rounds to get through before the endurance season begins. He has experience and success from previous years to call upon at those tracks and the car will be set up to produce speed in longer bursts, which might level the playing field a bit.
"I am looking forward to them more than the normal rounds," he said. "I think sharing the car with Steve Owen will be good for me as well because he has so much experience."
- NZ Herald