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HomeNewsStanaway in frame for van Gisbergen co-drive

Stanaway in frame for van Gisbergen co-drive

RICHIE Stanaway has emerged as an early contender to join forces with Supercars star Shane van Gisbergen for the 2023 enduros.

Van Gisbergen has long been a loyal supporter of his divisive compatriot and publicly sung his praises as recently as late October.

The co-driver market was this afternoon tipped on its head by Garth Tander’s shock switch to Grove Racing, opening up a coveted seat next to van Gisbergen, who won both the championship and Bathurst 1000 this year.

Triple Eight does have Craig Lowndes on its books for 2023 but he is expected to continue in a wildcard capacity next year, perhaps again with Declan Fraser.

The Broc Feeney/Jamie Whincup combination may also be retained, given the latter has voiced his desire to go around again.

V8 Sleuth understands Triple Eight has already begun searching for a Tander replacement, and Stanaway could logically come into calculations following his stunning Great Race comeback after three years away.

Stanaway put the #51 Boost Mobile/Erebus Motorsport wildcard he shared with Greg Murphy into the Bathurst Top 10 Shootout and finished race day on the lead lap in 11th.

One curveball though could be the grand plans of Boost boss Peter Adderton, who has already ordered a Triple Eight Gen3 Camaro with the intentions of fielding Stanaway in several wildcards next year and full-time in 2024.

When today approached by V8 Sleuth, Adderton remained committed to that plan, albeit not being totally against the potential of a van Gisbergen link-up.

“Three or four wildcards next year for Richie, including Bathurst, in a Boost Mobile Racing car – that is our single biggest focus and I’ve made that clear to everybody that that’s what we want,” said Adderton.

MORE: Supercars considering wildcard program expansion

“If that doesn’t happen, I think it would be a shame, but if it doesn’t happen then of course seeing Richie go to a team like Triple Eight would be a second dream come true for us.

“But at the end of the day, our focus is on getting that wildcard and we think that it’s better to have him as a full-time driver in ’24 and doing a bunch of wildcards including Bathurst in a Boost Mobile Racing car.

“That is my honest focus right now.”

In Triple Eight’s announcement regarding Tander’s departure, managing director Whincup indicated options “both domestic and abroad” would be explored.

The 2023 Repco Supercars Championship will feature two endurance events: the Sandown 500 in September, and the Repco Bathurst 1000 in October.

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