Stanaway was "set up for failure" at Tickford, says new backer

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Andrew van Leeuwen
By: Andrew van Leeuwen
Jan 10, 2019, 1:33 AM

Richie Stanaway's rookie Supercars campaign was 'set up for failure', says the backer that has handed him a career lifeline.

The former GT star endured a disaster of a debut Supercars season in 2018, his much-hyped deal with Tickford Racing yielding just 25th in the final standings.

The lack of results took its toll on the relationship between team and driver too, cracks beginning to show by the Townsville round where Stanaway clashed with Tickford chief Tim Edwards over an impromptu mid-race drifting display.

He was ultimately let go by Tickford after the season finale in Newcastle, just one season into his two-year contract.

However none of that is any concern to Boost Mobile founder Peter Adderton, who has orchestrated a surprise lifeline for Stanaway at Garry Rogers Motorsport thanks to a new multi-year sponsorship deal.

Adderton reckons Stanaway was 'set up for failure' heading into his rookie year, thanks to the hype he attracted with impressive outings at Sandown and Bathurst as a co-driver in 2017.

"I think the problem Richie had in 2018 is that he had such a build-up to the success that he had in the endurance races that everyone just expected him to get into a Tickford car and be in the top three," he told Motorsport.com.

"The expectations on Richie were way too high. And I don't think that Tickford managed that that well.

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"What we're trying to do now is say 'hey Richie, you had a bad year last year. You can blame as many people as you want and you can take the blame yourself. But this year the expectations aren't on you. There's no hype about Richie Stanway coming in'.

"I think if we relieve that pressure on him, and we put a very good team around him, it's exciting.

"That's what our brand is all about, giving young drivers a chance rather than setting them up for failure. I think last year, Richie was set up for failure.

"He's a talent. Nobody who watched Richie drive in that 2017 Sandown and Bathurst doesn't think he has talent.

"He knows what he's doing, but if you don't get the driver's head right, I can guarantee you that the left and right feet won't be right either."

Adderton added that he's now looking for Stanaway to build on the hardships of 2018 and use his failed rookie season as motivation to take this second chance with both hands.

"I always say that I'd like to hire someone who's had a failure," he said.

"If you hire people who have just had successes, they've never been in a hard place like Richie was. Richie has had that year. Now he's got an opportunity to relieve the pressure and go out and do what we think he can do, which is drive the car fast.

"I think it's going to make for a very interesting year in Supercars. This is a team that most people are going to be watching."

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