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Whincup’s view on a potential SVG NASCAR cameo

TRIPLE Eight Race Engineering boss Jamie Whincup says he is open to the possibility of Shane van Gisbergen making his NASCAR Cup Series debut this year.

A van Gisbergen cameo in the United States became a very real possibility last September, when the now three-time Supercars champion confirmed he’d commenced talks with Trackhouse Racing owner Justin Marks.

At that point in time, NASCAR’s 2023 calendar had been revealed but Supercars’ hadn’t.

That meant that any one of the five NASCAR road/street course events were a possibility, pending they didn’t clash with his Red Bull Ampol Racing duties back in Australia.

The five non-oval rounds fall at Circuit of the Americas (March 26), Sonoma Raceway (June 11), the all-new Chicago Street Course (July 2), Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course (August 13) and Watkins Glen (August 20).

Only Watkins Glen directly clashes with a Supercars event, The Bend SuperSprint unfolding on the same weekend. The other four are each a week before a Supercars event, namely Albert Park, Darwin, Townsville and The Bend.

It was at Watkins Glen where Kimi Raikkonen last year drove for Marks.

Van Gisbergen, who is competing in some sprintcar racing this summer, would need clearance from Whincup to broaden his horizons.

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“I’d assess any opportunity when it’s presented,” Whincup recently told V8 Sleuth.

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“It’s hard to say right now if it would be a yes or a no because I don’t know any of the details, but I’d assess it and just use the same methodology that we’d like to see our drivers having different experiences in different cars around the world, and I would just assess it the same as with any other opportunity.

“I think it would be good for everyone if a driver like Shane could go over there and do a good job. That doesn’t say if it’s going to happen or not.

“We’ll see what happens.”

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