Richie Stanaway will take no further part in this weekend’s Winton SuperSprint round of the Supercars Championship.

The New Zealander complained of persistent neck pain during last week’s in-season test at the Winton circuit, which is believed to stem from the broken back Stanaway suffered in a frightening accident at Spa-Francorchamps in 2012 while racing in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series.

Stanaway suffered a heavy accident in the final minutes of Saturday’s practice session, when he ran wide at Turn 6 and violently crashed into the tyre wall. The accident flared up the injury, although he managed to get through qualifying and the race, albeit finishing last after earning a penalty for spinning Simona de Silvestro off the track.

“Obviously [I’m] really disappointed, it wasn’t a decision that I wanted to make,” said Stanaway on his decision to sit out Sunday’s schedule.

“I tried to deal with it today, but unfortunately it’s too severe an issue to keep going, especially tomorrow with the longer race.

“We’ve all decided that it’s the best thing to do for myself and for the team. I’ll get an MRI on Monday and find out what’s wrong so I can fix it as soon as possible.

“I don’t think driving tomorrow will help the situation.”

His place in the #33 Garry Rogers Motorsport Holden will be taken by Chris Pither, who was yesterday confirmed alongside Richard Muscat as the team’s two co-drivers for the Pirtek Enduro Cup rounds later in the year.

Image via Auto Action

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Geoff Burke

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