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Whincup to sub for Feeney in Bathurst qualifying

TRIPLE Eight Race Engineering is planning to call on Jamie Whincup to complete qualifying in torrential conditions this afternoon at the Repco Bathurst 1000.

Whincup is partaking in his first full event since retiring as a Repco Supercars Championship full-timer last year, sharing Car #88 with teen Broc Feeney.

The 39-year-old starred in a wet Practice 4 earlier today, posting the second fastest time of the session, only behind championship-leading teammate Shane van Gisbergen.

Feeney had somewhat struggled by comparison, sitting just 20th prior to the mid-session red flag brought out by Macauley Jones.

MORE: Triple Eight studied Stanaway’s wet Bathurst masterclass

Triple Eight team manager Mark Dutton told V8 Sleuth that Whincup will qualify the car if conditions remain wet, which is almost a forgone conclusion.

“We’re in the very fortunate position to have a co-driver that is a seven-time champion who has just stepped out of the car last year,” Dutton said.

“It’s one of those things that I think would be a mistake of ours not to look at that option, which is why we did that in Practice 4.

Jamie Whincup. Pic: Supplied

“Broc is having an amazing year but everyone forgets he’s a rookie driver so it’s one of those things that we have got to make sure we support him in his development.

“We don’t want Broc to do unnecessary risks.

“It’s Friday; we still have wet practice tomorrow. Sunday the weather could do anything so we’re definitely looking at what the weather does for qualifying and then that will make the decision more than anything.

“So it’s a little bit obvious what it might be.”

Asked to clarify that it would be Whincup in that case, Dutton replied: “That’s what we will be doing.”

Elsewhere in pitlane, Craig Lowndes is set to qualify the Triple Eight/Supercheap wildcard, while Matt Chahda will be handed the duties in the #118 Caltex Young Stars Holden.

Down at Erebus Motorsport, an all hands on deck effort has ensured the #9 entry, which Will Brown crashed late in Practice 4, will make qualifying.

“We’ll be right. We’ll get it out and it will be perfect,” said Erebus CEO Barry Ryan.

“We’re lucky; very, very lucky. The whole front-end had to be taken out, we had to straight part of the chassis rail.

“Luckily it broke the suspension but didn’t do any rail damage so we’re really, really lucky.

“The body shifted a little bit but we have got it all back in place now.”

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