Photo: Tickford Racing

Tickford announce Richie Stanaway split

Richie Stanaway is to leave Tickford Racing after a difficult rookie season in the Supercars Championship.

The highly-rated Stanaway joined the team on a full-time basis for 2018 to drive the #56 Ford Falcon, after impressive performances in the 2016 and 2017 endurance rounds – which included victory at Sandown and a second place finish at Surfers Paradise last year.

However, the season turned into one to forget for the New Zealander, as Tickford struggled for results, with the 27-year-old taking just a single top ten finish in the 31 races run across the year.

It meant Stanaway – who earlier in his career had won races in GP3, GP2 and the World Endurance Championship – ended the season down in 25th spot in the championship standings; ahead of only Todd Hazelwood amongst the full-season entrants.

“Tickford Racing and Richie Stanaway have elected to terminate their partnership,” a statement from the team read. “This decision is mutual, as team and driver believe it is best to part ways at this time.

“Despite a challenging 2018 Supercars season, we think highly of Richie and wish him well in the next chapter of his career.

“Tickford Racing’s 2019 plans continue to progress, and we look forward to announcing our driver line-up for the upcoming Supercars season in the coming weeks.”

Stanaway becomes the second driver to leave Tickford following the conclusion of the 2018 season, with Mark Winterbottom having moved on to Charlie Schwerkolt Racing.

Chaz Mostert and Cameron Waters are already confirmed in two of the new Mustangs being run by Tickford next season alongside the 23Red Racing car of Will Davison, leaving one seat with the team for the 2019 season.

Lee Holdsworth, who lost the drive that has now been taken by Winterbottom, is one of the favourites to complete the Tickford line-up.