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HomeNewsWhincup plans to extend co-driving career

Whincup plans to extend co-driving career

EXPECT to see Jamie Whincup back behind the wheel of a Red Bull Ampol Racing Supercar next year.

How Whincup handled his first shot at juggling Bathurst 1000 co-driving with life as Triple Eight team principal/managing director was a key question following this month’s Great Race.

The seven-time Supercars champion was eventful at the Mountain: clearly quick (so much so that he qualified the #88 ahead of Broc Feeney) if a tad incident-prone. All told, he and Feeney came home a solid fifth.

“I enjoyed getting in the car, for sure,” Whincup, 39, reflected.

“To be honest, it was nice to have six months off driving; after doing full-time for 18 years, it was nice to have a little bit of a break.

“I had a daughter and got embroiled into the Triple Eight franchise, if you want to call it that, so it was nice to do something different for six months but then probably the month before Bathurst I was starting to itch a little bit to get back in the car.

“So it was quite timely that I got an opportunity to jump in at Bathurst and I had a bit of run last weekend in the GT car as well (at Tailem Bend).

“So I’m looking for opportunities to drive here or there while making sure I don’t compromise my MD role at Triple Eight.”

MORE: Triple Eight to withdraw from Super2 Series

Pressed if he was likely to co-drive again next season, Whincup responded: “Right now, if I was to take a guess, yes for sure.

“We’ll analyse all of our options. My job is to make sure we have got the best drivers in the car.

“This year I thought I was a good option for a co-driver; hopefully that’s the case next year but if someone better comes along, then I’ll happily sit out. But hopefully I’m driving.”

Triple Eight also has Craig Lowndes under contract, while it’s not yet clear whether five-time Bathurst 1000 winner Garth Tander will carry on despite his impressive form at Mount Panorama.

The 2023 Repco Supercars Championship almost certainly will see a return to a two-round endurance season, with the Sandown 500 in August ahead of the Bathurst 1000 in October.

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