Adderton owns up to Stanaway/GRM "mistake"

Peter Adderton says it was a "mistake" to pair driver Richie Stanaway with team owner Garry Rogers in 2019 due to their different personalities.

Adderton owns up to Stanaway/GRM "mistake"

Adderton engineered the lifeline GRM drive for Stanaway ahead of the 2019 Supercars season as part of a sponsorship deal between the team and Boost Mobile.

At that stage Stanaway had parted ways with Tickford after a disappointing rookie campaign, and looked to be out a ride until Adderton's intervention.

Stanaway replaced Garth Tander alongside James Golding in the GRM line-up for 2019, that too proved to be a difficult season for the Kiwi both on and off the track.

He struggled for results and, like at Tickford, was unable to endear himself to senior team staff.

The personality clash came to a head on the Gold Coast when Stanaway was benched by Rogers for missing a signing session.

When Boost pulled its backing at the end of the season GRM walked away from Supercars, while Stanaway walked away from the sport entirely.

Speaking to Greg Murphy for Repco's The Garage New Zealand, Adderton admitted that pairing an introvert like Stanaway with Rogers, who famously expects his drivers to be a highly-active team participant, was poor judgement.

He also explained why he thinks Stanaway failed to establish himself in the Supercars paddock when he arrived as a full-timer in 2018.

"Everyone is different, right? And I think the problem with Supercars is if you're not in 'the club'... if you're just different, that's frowned upon in Supercars, especially amongst the fan base," said Adderton.

"I felt that Richie wasn't being given a fair shot [in 2018]. Because he didn't have that jovial, punching everyone in the arm that goes past, tripping every commentator that goes past, that [style of] interaction, everyone treated him like he wasn't part of the group. [But] the kid is extremely talented.

"Garry and I go back a long way. Garry rang us up [in late 2018] and said, 'hey Peter, can you step in and help us out next year'.

"We weren't even planning on doing it. I said, 'alright Garry, we'll step in. But I want Richie in the car'.

"He said, 'okay, I don't care, we'll put him in the car'.

"That was a mistake of mine. Because Garry's way of operating, and Richie's after growing up in Europe where you basically race the car, you put your helmet up, you go back to the transporter and you're gone... well Garry's thing is, I'll take you helmet, now get under the car and start working on it, or go out the back and wash the truck.

"It was a mis-match. That was my fault and I take full responsibility for putting Richie, and Garry, through one of the worst years of their lives.

"I tried to put two pieces together that just didn't fit."

Adderton has now managed to lure Stanaway out of the retirement, with Boost Mobile backing a one-off Bathurst 1000 entry for him and Murphy.

And Adderton is hoping the low-pressure Bathurst campaign may lure Stanaway, a Sandown 500 winner, back to the category.

"I didn't want [2019] to be the end of the chapter for Richie," said Adderton.

"At the end of the day [the wildcard is] about having fun. There's no championship on the line. We're not trying to help another team. There's no team points. We're going to go out there and have a blast.

"And I'm hoping that that is something that Richie falls back in love with. Because I just think it's such a waste of a talent. To see a kid like that, who's different because he grew up differently, kind of being pushed out of Supercars, that's a mistake.

"We've got to embrace everybody, no matter what their personalities are."

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