Former GT star Richie Stanaway says it's a 'childhood dream' to be making his fulltime Supercars debut on the streets of Adelaide this weekend.
The Kiwi joins a crack Tickford Racing line-up for the 2018 season, making good on a plan to break into the Supercars series after first appearing as an enduro driver back in 2016.
It's now been confirmed that he'll be doing it in full-blown Tickford colours, the road car turning arm taking on the title sponsorship on his car along with fuel supplier Mega.
While not technically his Supercars debut in Adelaide, Stanaway reckons there's a different feeling heading into his first solo round.
"It's a cool feeling, seeing my name on the door on its own," he told Motorsport.com.
"It's a childhood dream, I suppose. Especially being here in Adelaide; I've watched this race on TV for as long as I can remember.
"To be a part of it is pretty surreal."
Good rookie reference
While clearly the most experienced in a general sense of the five rookies debuting in the series this weekend, Stanaway isn't taking being the fastest of them for granted.
The 26-year-old may have the overseas runs on the board, he may be with the front-running Tickford squad, and he may already be a Sandown 500 winner – but he says he's wary of how quick some of his fellow debutants will be.
The rookie field includes reigning Super2 champion Todd Hazelwood (Matt Stone Racing), Anton De Pasquale (Erebus), Jack Le Brocq (Tekno), and James Golding (Garry Rogers Motorsport).
"Arguably the other four are a little more prepared than I am, even though I'm a little bit older and I have more overseas experience," he added.
"They've got more specific Super2 and Supercars experience and knowledge on these tracks. And they're all good drivers that have been successful in Super2 as well.
"The good thing is there's a good amount of rookies. Generally there's only a couple each season, so it's tough to get a true reference.
"They're all really good references, it's not like anyone is going to be slow. It makes it a lot more exciting for me as a rookie being part of that group."