THE Repco Bathurst 1000 will once again be the only endurance race on the Supercars calendar in 2021, meaning there will be no Pirtek Enduro Cup for the second year in a row and just one race outing for co-drivers this year.
That fact, combined with the major changes in many Supercars teams’ main driver line-ups for 2021, has placed an even greater premium on securing an experienced co-driver.
Four of the most high-profile steerers among last year’s co-driver crop secured full-time seats this year: Will Davison at Dick Johnson Racing, Tim Slade at the new Blanchard Racing Team, and Will Brown and Brodie Kostecki at Erebus Motorsport.
RESCHEDULED: 2021 Repco Bathurst 1000 moves to December
Conversely, a handful of last year’s main game drivers are expected to race as co-drivers come this year’s twice-rescheduled race in December.
Reigning Supercars Champion-turned-IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year Scott McLaughlin will not be one of them.
Alex Davison will take his place in Dick Johnson Racing’s co-driver lineup with the continuing mandatory 14-day quarantine period for international visitors to Australia precluding McLaughlin’s return.
Davison will pair with brother Will Davison in the team’s No.17 Ford Mustang, while Tony D’Alberto will pair with Anton De Pasquale, DJR confirming his recruitment in March 2021 with the following Tweet.
The campaign will mark D’Alberto’s 17th start in the Bathurst 1000 and his sixth in a row with Dick Johnson Racing.
Virtually all teams have either already announced their co-driver line-ups for 2021 or have drivers under existing contracts.
Kelly Grove Racing has recruited Luke Youlden to reunite with his 2017 Bathurst 1000-winning teammate David Reynolds.
Two-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Earl Bamber was scheduled to co-drive the second KGR Mustang with Andre Heimgartner, but was forced to withdraw due to a scheduling conflict following the change to the Bathurst date.
Fellow Porsche ace, Europe-based Aussie Matt Campbell, will instead fill his place alongside the Kiwi in car #7.
Lee Holdsworth, who split with Tickford Racing in January, will join Walkinshaw Andretti United where he will partner Chaz Mostert, while WAU veteran Warren Luff pairs with Bryce Fullwood.
Triple Eight Race Engineering will have Craig Lowndes and Garth Tander on its roster once again this year, with the 2020 Bathurst-winning combination of Tander and Shane van Gisbergen expected to remain in place while Lowndes continues with Jamie Whincup in the latter’s final year of full-time Supercars racing.
Team 18 has confirmed that it has secured the services of Michael Caruso and retained James Golding for 2021 to partner with Mark Winterbottom and Scott Pye respectively.
Tickford Racing has made a late change to the co-driver lineup it announced in February with Super2 racer Zak Best joining Thomas Randle and James Moffat, with 2019 Bathurst co-winner Alex Premat once again forced to miss out on a return to Mount Panorama.
Erebus Motorsport will pair experienced campaigners Jack Perkins and David Russell with its rookie full-timers Will Brown and Brodie Kostecki respectively, and run a wildcard third entry for four-time Bathurst 1000 winner Greg Murphy and Richie Stanaway.
Brad Jones Racing has confirmed all four of its co-drivers, each boasting significant Bathurst experience.
Former full-time Team SYDNEY driver Chris Pither joins Macauley Jones in the team’s Coca-Cola-backed #96 Holden.
Dale Wood rejoins the squad with which he raced full-time in 2014 and ’15 to partner Nick Percat in the R&J Batteries entry under a two-year deal.
Dean Fiore has landed at BJR to link with Todd Hazelwood, adding further experience to the line-up.
Fiore moves to BJR after a single year at Team 18. The West Aussie has a total of 12 Bathurst 1000 starts to his name, half of which came at Kelly Racing.
Ash Walsh rejoins BJR to partner Jack Smith. Walsh was a co-driver at BJR from 2016-19 but missed last year’s Bathurst due to a clashing accounting exam.
Team SYDNEY is the latest team to confirm its co-driver lineup with Dylan O’Keeffe and team owner Jonathon Webb set to line up at Mount Panorama in November.
2016 Bathurst winner Webb will partner Fabian Coulthard for his 16th start in the race, while O’Keeffe will make his second ‘Great Race’ start with Garry Jacobson.
Matt Stone Racing is the only squad yet to name either of their Bathurst co-drivers.
CONFIRMED CO-DRIVERS: 2021 Repco Bathurst 1000 (as of 18/10/2021)
|Dick Johnson Racing||Alex Davison||Ford Mustang GT|
|Dick Johnson Racing||Tony D’Alberto||Ford Mustang GT|
|Triple Eight Race Engineering||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore ZB|
|Triple Eight Race Engineering||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore ZB|
|Tickford Racing||James Moffat||Ford Mustang GT|
|Tickford Racing||Thomas Randle||Ford Mustang GT|
|Tickford Racing||Zak Best||Ford Mustang GT|
|Blanchard Racing Team||Tim Blanchard||Ford Mustang GT|
|Erebus Motorsport||Jack Perkins||Holden Commodore ZB|
|Erebus Motorsport||David Russell||Holden Commodore ZB|
|Team 18||Michael Caruso||Holden Commodore ZB|
|Team 18||James Golding||Holden Commodore ZB|
|Walkinshaw Andretti United||Warren Luff||Holden Commodore ZB|
|Walkinshaw Andretti United||Lee Holdsworth||Holden Commodore ZB|
|Brad Jones Racing||Dale Wood||Holden Commodore ZB|
|Brad Jones Racing||Ash Walsh||Holden Commodore ZB|
|Brad Jones Racing||Chris Pither||Holden Commodore ZB|
|Brad Jones Racing||Dean Fiore||Holden Commodore ZB|
|Kelly Grove Racing||Matt Campbell||Ford Mustang GT|
|Kelly Grove Racing||Luke Youlden||Ford Mustang GT|
|Team SYDNEY||Jonathon Webb||Holden Commodore ZB|
|Team SYDNEY||Dylan O’Keeffe||Holden Commodore ZB|
|Wildcard (Triple Eight)||Russell Ingall||Holden Commodore ZB|
|Wildcard (Erebus)||Greg Murphy||Holden Commodore ZB|