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Five Supercars storylines to watch

THE new year is here but some lingering matters remain unresolved when it comes to the 2023 Repco Supercars Championship.

V8 Sleuth explores some key storylines to keep an eye on in the coming weeks.

Tickford’s dilemma

News broke via V8 Sleuth just before Christmas that a shock split between Tickford Racing and Jake Kostecki was on the cards.

Previously, the team had long said its 2022 quintet, including Zak Best, all had contracts for ’23.

However, Super2 champion Declan Fraser has emerged as a contender to end up joining Cam Waters, James Courtney and Thomas Randle at the four-car squad.

The case has gone quiet in recent weeks but is sure to flare up again soon with the all-new Gen3 cars due to hit the track in less than a month’s time.

Co-driver puzzle

Plenty of question marks remain about endurance rosters for Sandown and Bathurst this year.

Triple Eight possesses a vacancy in the wake of Garth Tander’s departure to Grove Racing, and Dick Johnson Racing is tipped to be scouring the market too.

Then there are potential logjams, such as at Walkinshaw Andretti United as Lee Holdsworth returns, and at Erebus Motorsport if Chris Pither follows loyal backer Coca-Cola across from PremiAir Racing.

Testing timelines

Supercars’ Gen3 Ford Mustang prototype. Pic: Nathan Wong

The maiden teams’ Gen3 test can’t come soon enough.

Already pushed back from mid-December to late January (and then into early February for the southern squads), all eyes will be on how the new Mustangs and Camaros roll out.

If they’re in the ballpark, happy days… but if significant gremlins rear their head, there might just be a race against the clock to be ready for Newcastle across March 10-12.

Wildcards

Just how many events will be permitted for a wildcard campaign has been a never-ending saga.

It was supposed to be one solo round in 2022 but ended up being two. Then, after moving to return to the one-round maximum in ‘23, there have been efforts to keep it at two after all.

That could mean as many as four race meetings for a wildcard, when you factor in Sandown and Bathurst too.

Super2 stars

Will the most successful team in Dunlop Super2 Series history press on, or will they take a backseat?

MW Motorsport’s Nissan Altimas have been bumped down to the third tier – where they may yet run Jett Johnson – and the team has not publicly commented on whether it will source either ZB Commodores or Mustangs to stay in Super2.

MWM’s record includes four Super2 titles and working with drivers including Randle, Andre Heimgartner, Tim Slade, Bryce Fullwood and Chaz Mostert.

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