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HomeNewsTriple Eight moving quickly to replace Tander

Triple Eight moving quickly to replace Tander

TRIPLE Eight Race Engineering boss Jamie Whincup has refused to rule out pursuing the likes of Scott McLaughlin and Richie Stanaway for the co-drive vacated by Garth Tander.

Tander shocked the industry last week by turning down a Triple Eight extension in favour of a multi-faceted, two-year deal with Grove Racing.

He and Shane van Gisbergen had teamed up to win two of the past three editions of the Repco Bathurst 1000, leaving the best co-drive in Supercars now up for grabs.

Stanaway immediately emerged as a contender for the ride, having impressed on his return to the big stage in October; van Gisbergen has also long been a loyal supporter of the divisive Kiwi.

Other compatriots of van Gisbergen, IndyCar star McLaughlin and Formula E/DTM race winner Nick Cassidy, are among other names to have been speculated since.

When asked if a shortlist had been formed, Whincup told V8 Sleuth: “We haven’t decided who will be our second co-driver yet, so it’s all a work in progress.

“Certainly we have got some names on the list but we might add more names in the coming days and weeks – but we’re looking to make a decision quickly, as soon as possible.

“While I’m not 100 percent confirmed, I’ve certainly pencilled myself in for the enduros again in 2023.”

Pressed specifically on whether Stanaway, Cassidy and/or McLaughlin had been or are being considered, Whincup stopped short of denying as much.

“I think everyone is being considered at the moment,” he said.

“Everyone that doesn’t have a co-driver role is certainly being considered, so yeah, you would have to assume those guys are on the list.”

McLaughlin is a fascinating case as a Ford Supercars hero who is now aligned with Chevrolet in the United States. Chevrolet is replacing Holden on the General Motors side of the divide from the 2023 Repco Supercars Championship onwards.

The 29-year-old has showed little interest in returning to the wheel of a Supercar since departing the category, but was an enthusiastic contributor to the Adelaide 500 broadcast this month.

There is also potential for Whincup to switch to co-driving with van Gisbergen and install their recruit alongside Feeney.

Tander’s decision to leave the team is believed to have at least in part been triggered by Triple Eight wanting to keep its pairings flexible, rather than contractually tying him to #97.

Craig Lowndes has one year remaining on his Triple Eight contract but is expected to remain in a wildcard entry as was the case this season.

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