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Formula E injury call-up rules ace out of Bathurst

SOUTH African star Kelvin van der Linde is set to miss the 2023 Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour due to an unlikely turn of events.

V8 Sleuth has learnt van der Linde was in line to spearhead the PremiAir Racing/Schumacher Motorsport Audi at the February 3-5 event.

However, that no longer appears to be on the cards with van der Linde emerging as a favourite to substitute for injured Abt Formula E driver Robin Frijns.

The Dutchman suffered a broken wrist in a first-lap crash at the season-opening Mexico City ePrix on the weekend.

Although the Bathurst 12 Hour does not directly clash with a Formula E race weekend, duties attached to the electric-powered open-wheel series are thought likely to keep van der Linde from travelling Down Under.

Saudi Arabia will host a double-header on January 27-28, before the inaugural Hyderabad ePrix unfolds in India on February 11.

Van der Linde has never raced in Formula E before but completed a test in 2020 and has driven for Abt in the past two seasons of DTM.

In his absence, a relatively predictable line-up is expected to steer the Fuchs Audi, with PremiAir’s Supercars drivers James Golding and Tim Slade tipped to join Bathurst local Brad Schumacher.

That squad has not yet been confirmed, with Slade awaiting the arrival of his and wife Dani’s second child due later this month.

Bathurst 12 Hour driver announcements have started to roll in across recent days, including Triple Eight’s news that Richie Stanaway, Jamie Whincup and Prince Jefri Ibrahim will share its Boost Mobile Pro-Am Mercedes.

Among those still to confirm drivers are GruppeM, Craft-Bamboo, and 2022 winners SunEnergy1 Racing.

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