NO SCOTT MCLAUGHLIN FOR 2022 BATHURST 1000

Dick Johnson Racing has named its co-driver pairings for the 2022 Repco Bathurst 1000 and Scott McLaughlin is not among them. Pic: Nathan Wong

INDYCAR ace Scott McLaughlin will not return to the Repco Supercars Championship for October’s Bathurst 1000.

Dick Johnson Racing has announced Tony D’Alberto and Alex Davison as its two co-drivers for the Great Race, after McLaughlin opted out of the event.

McLaughlin and Team Penske both exited DJR at the end of 2020 as the driver moved into a full-time IndyCar seat with the fabled American squad.

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The triple Supercars champion and 2019 Bathurst winner had declared a desire to return for the Great Race last year but did not do so due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions.

Although those hurdles have been cleared, DJR has stated that McLaughlin wants to focus on his IndyCar dream rather than adapt back to the Mustang touring car.

McLaughlin himself had hinted at the decision in a recent interview on Enforcer & The Dude.

“The biggest thing for us, we’ve got the 2.4-litre engines coming onboard (in 2024), so we’re doing a lot of testing in the winter over here,” he told the program.

“I’ve got to make sure I’m on top of things here (in the US). My life is here now, I don’t want to jeopardise what I’m doing here.

McLaughlin won the 2019 Bathurst 1000 with DJR Team Penske and last raced in the ‘Great Race’ in 2020. Pic: an1images.com / Dirk Klynsmith

“As much as I love Bathurst, I don’t want to affect what I’m doing here just now. I can always come back and race it (in future), but I’ve got to focus.

“If I hadn’t won the race, I’d probably be a bit more ‘far out, I’ve got to get back there, I’ve got to do it, it’s got to happen’.

“But I’ve ticked the box, I just want to make sure I’m good here and put my best foot forward here at least. “

Alex Davison continues with DJR in 2022 having been brought in as McLaughlin’s replacement last year and is set to again share #17 with younger brother Will.

D’Alberto returns to DJR for a seventh campaign and his second alongside Anton De Pasquale.

“To have Tony and Alex co-driving with us again in the Great Race, the Repco Bathurst 1000, is exciting for the Shell V-Power Racing Team after their excellent results in 2021, with a just missed podium,” said DJR co-owner Ryan Story.

“Both were among the fastest co-drivers during the race last year and I know we’ll see that pace again this year.

“They are great members of our team and really do fit in well with not only all of our staff, but also with our partners, and embraced by all our wonderful and passionate supporters.”