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The drawback to potential Whincup comeback

THE prospect of seven-time Supercars champion Jamie Whincup making a full-time comeback is tantalising if fraught with an element of risk.

That’s the view of Triple Eight team manager Mark Dutton, who engineered Whincup to several of his titles.

Whincup has emerged as a real option to step into the Gen3 Camaro which Shane van Gisbergen is set to vacate at season’s end.

Van Gisbergen last night officially confirmed for the first time that he intends for this to be his final year in Supercars, provided that the team can find a suitable replacement.

With many of the sport’s big names not coming off-contract for at least another year, Triple Eight finds itself in a fascinating position for 2024.

Asked about Whincup potentially returning, Dutton declared it “an awesome fallback” option.

“We’re in a fantastic position to have that as a back-up plan,” he continued.

“Is that our initial plan? No, it’s not.”

Dutton voiced a desire to be careful given the risk of tarnishing Whincup’s almighty legacy behind the wheel.

Richie Stanaway and Jamie Whincup at Sydney Motorsport Park. Pic: Ross Gibb

“It’s one of those things, we’ve got to be careful and I’ve reminded Jamie when we have chatted about some of these things: he finished as the GOAT (greatest of all time),” said Dutton.

“If you come back and aren’t strong, yeah, that puts a bit of a downer on your career.

“So it’s definitely not our first option but it’s a bloody good one and you know that he’ll work super hard if it happens.”

Besides co-driving with Broc Feeney in the upcoming enduros, Whincup has kept his eye in with semi-regular seat time via GT World Challenge Australia.

Triple Eight’s other co-driver, Richie Stanaway, impressed in GTWC Australia on Saturday in Sydney with a sterling charge to second.

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