Born in Tauranga, Stanaway was originally from a motocross background, before making the switch to speedway at the age of twelve. Following that came a brief foray into kart racing prior to making his formula car debut in 2007 after being selected for the New Zealand SpeedSport Scholarship. He competed in the 2007/08 Formula First championship finishing third overall as the highest placed rookie.
Stanaway then made the jump to the New Zealand Formula Ford Championship. Prior to the National championship he raced in the winter series to prepare, winning numerous races in the process with the newly imported Mygale chassis. Stanaway won the 2008/09 New Zealand Formula Ford Championship with fourteen race wins, becoming only the second driver in history to win the title as a rookie.
He then competed in the 2009 Australian Formula Ford Championship. During his Australian Formula Ford campaign in April 2009, Stanaway made his debut in New Zealand’s Toyota Racing Series during a one off appearance on the Hamilton 400 street circuit, scoring both pole positions and winning both races on debut. He then had to pull out half way through the Australian Formula Ford Championship to take up testing and racing opportunities in the ADAC Formula Masters Championship in Germany. Despite missing six of the races, Richie finished sixth place in the 2009 Australian Formula Ford Championship taking one race win and six podium finishes.
Since then Richie has competed successfully in GP3 taking 2 wins and 5 podiums. He then progressed to GP2 in 2015 and taking 2 wins including one at the famous Monaco Grand Prix. He also finished 9th overall in the 2015 WEC GTE Pro class with one race win.
In 2016 Richie has signed with Aston Martin to contest the full FIA World Endurance Championship and a GT3 event, Nurburgring 24.