Murphy: Give Stanaway a shot at Whincup's seat

Greg Murphy has called on Triple Eight to give Supercars outcast Richie Stanaway a shot as Jamie Whincup's replacement.

Murphy: Give Stanaway a shot at Whincup's seat

Perhaps the most coveted seat in Supercars is up for grabs next season, with seven-time series champion Whincup set to move into the team boss role at T8.

Teenager Broc Feeney is widely considered as the overwhelming favourite to score the drive, although the team maintains that it's not a foregone conclusion.

Whincup recently said there were still overseas-based drivers in contention, which makes sense given much of the established local talent, such as Cam Waters, Chaz Mostert and Nick Percat, is now under contract elsewhere next season.

According to Murphy, one driver based outside Australia that should be under consideration is New Zealander Stanaway.

The two Kiwis are currently preparing to make a sensational Bathurst 1000 wildcard start together in a Boost Mobile backed entry, which will mark Stanaway's return after he walked away from motor racing at the end of the 2019 season.

His shock retirement came off the back of two difficult seasons as a Supercars full-timer with Tickford Racing and Garry Rogers Motorsport, where he struggled for pace and clashed with both teams.

His failure to fire as a Supercars driver was additionally burdened by huge expectations off the back of some stunning performances at the Supercars enduros, which included winning the Sandown 500 with Waters in 2017.

According to Murphy, the time off has done Stanaway the world of good – and T8 could do a lot worse than consider him for the #88.

"What about Richie Stanaway?," Murphy told the Repco Supercars Weekly podcast.

"Give that young guy a shot. Put him in the right environment with the right team, with the right people, with the right equipment, with the right teammate.

"I wish he was on the list. I don't know if he is, but I wish he was. Because I don't think we've seen the best from that bloke and he needs a proper environment.

"With the change that he's had in his mental state, and with the step away from the sport, and where he is now, it would be the prime opportunity to give someone like him a shot.

"He knows the tracks, he knows Supercars pretty well. I'd love it if he was on the list and got a look in for this one."

Speaking about Feeney and the #88, Murphy questioned whether going straight from Super2 to a front-running, race-winning main game seat is the right move, highlighting the epic battle between teammates Whincup and Shane van Gisbergen in last Sunday's first race in Townsville.

"It's a tricky one, pros and cons," he said.

"Is Shane van Gisbergen going to have what he had on the weekend with teammate Jamie Whincup, with Broc Feeney as that person? No. You're not going to have that first year. Is it going to happen second year? Maybe not.

"We know Supercars takes a long time for drivers to find that groove and become subliminal with the Supercar and all the circuits, and turn up at every race track and be on the game.

"Broc is clearly a future star, but it must be a very difficult decision to have to go down that path and throw him in the hornets nest there. And to have to deal with all of these massive situations with a limited amount of experience."

Earl Bamber is another name that's been linked to the #88, given the Kiwi's prowess on the international stage and his close links to T8 as a former enduro driver.

That's another option T8 should closely consider, says Murphy.

"Earl, the times he has jumped in a Supercar was incredibly impressive," he added.

"He's a worldly, very experienced race driver that you know is going to get in and be ahead of the game, more than most drivers would be for someone who hasn't done a lot of Supercarracing.

"He's just one of those X-factor kinda guys. That might be a better bet."

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