All has been forgiven for controversially dumped Supercars rising star Richie Stanaway after being reinstated for the season’s final two rounds, starting with next weekend’s Sandown 500.
Stanaway’s future appeared up in the air when he was sensationally stood down for last weekend’s Gold Coast 600 finale due to disciplinary reasons after missing a fan autograph session.
Heavyweight Holden outfit Garry Rogers Motorsport (GRM) dropped the bombshell that Super2 Series driver Dylan O’Keeffe would replace Stanaway just before qualifying for last Sunday’s 300km event.
And at the time GRM boss Garry Rogers gave no guarantees that Stanaway would return for the season’s final two rounds ahead of a team meeting this week.
However, Stanaway has been given a reprieve after GRM on Thursday confirmed the New Zealander would not only contest the Sandown 500 but also the season finale, the Newcastle 500.
While GRM team director Barry Rogers admitted Stanaway’s missed autograph session wasn’t the first issue with the driver this season, he said the team was keen to move on.
“We dealt with the issue that was relevant at the Gold Coast and you move on from there,” Rogers told Supercars.com.
“It was never that he was gone for the rest of the year.
“People make mistakes. He took a fairly hefty punishment for what happened and he’s moved on from it and we’ve moved on from it.
“Now it’s about doing our very best for the final two rounds for the year.”
Stanaway still did not seem impressed by being stood down but was keen to make up for lost time after getting the GRM green light.
“It was (a shock) definitely,” he told speedcafe.com of being sidelined.
“I wasn’t happy about the situation but we’ve just got to move on from it.
“It’s good to be finishing the year off. We just discussed between the both of us what the best thing to do was and this was the outcome.
“If I can come out of Newcastle having known that I just gave it my best shot then that’s all that matters.”
Stanaway – who had also missed three events this year due to a neck injury – will now be reunited with co-driver Chris Pither at Sandown.
However, Stanaway’s long term future still remains unclear after GRM earlier sensationally confirmed they would be departing Supercars in 2020, ending their stellar 24 year stint.