The issue â believed to be linked to his horror Renault 3.5 crash at Spa back in 2012 â reared its head during Garry Rogers Motorsport’s Winton test last week, Stanaway forced to cut his running short due to neck pain.
Having come into the weekend confident it wouldn’t be a problem, it flared up again during this morning’s practice session, which ended with Stanaway in the Turn 6 wall.
He managed to get through qualifying and the race, finishing last after a clash with Simona de Silvestro, but has elected to sit out the rest of the weekend and let enduro driver Chris Pither take over the seat.
âObviously really disappointed, it wasnât a decision that I wanted to make,â said Stanaway.
âI tried to deal with it today, but unfortunately itâs too severe an issue to keep going, especially tomorrow with the longer race.
âWeâve all decided that itâs the best thing to do for myself and for the team.
âIâll get an MRI on Monday and find out whatâs wrong so I can fix it as soon as possible.
âI donât think driving tomorrow will help the situation.â
Pither added: “It is an unexpected call up to drive the #33 car tomorrow.
âI feel for Richie, heâs clearly been battling some neck issues.
âIt would have been a hard call for him to make, but Iâm looking forward to the challenge.
âObviously Iâve being thrown into the deep end, having not driven Supercar since Newcastle last year.
âIâll give it 100 per cent and do my best for Boost Mobile Racing.â
Richie Stanaway, Garry Rogers Motorsport
Photo by: Garry Rogers Motorsport