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XIBERRAS FLATTERED BY DRIVER MARKET INTEREST

PREMIAIR Racing is in no rush to clear up its position in the Repco Supercars Championship driver market as it continues to shape up as a major player in the silly season.

More names have been linked to joining the Arundel operation in 2023 than arguably any other squad, with head honcho Peter Xiberras expected to make a splash.

Will Davison and Mark Winterbottom were among high-profile candidates who were considered a possibility for PremiAir if they did not remain with their current respective teams.

However, Davison is now widely considered a formality to continue with the Shell V-Power Racing Team, while Winterbottom and Team 18 also appear to be headed towards a renewal.

Tim Slade is the latest race-winning veteran in the frame for a switch to PremiAir, who’ve already made one driver change since the start of its maiden season.

Xiberras demonstrated he means business by sacking Garry Jacobson in the aftermath of a clumsy Darwin Triple Crown display in June, with James Golding brought in as Chris Pither’s new teammate.

Peter Xiberras and Chris Pither in discussion. Pic: Rhys Vandersyde/InSyde Media

Given the plethora of 2023 seats which are more or less accounted for, Xiberras holds the keys to two of the last remaining available opportunities.

“We’re obviously a bit flattered to be getting a lot of phone calls and people even considering wanting to drive for us,” he told V8 Sleuth.

“Right now, we’re just more concentrating on getting our second half of our season on track and getting results, but I’m sure everything will sort itself out in due time.”

Asked if there would be a 2023 driver announcement any time soon, Xiberras replied: “No, it won’t be for a little while.”

If Davison and Winterbottom do indeed re-sign, that would make for at least six teams taking unchanged line-ups into next season (joining Triple Eight Race Engineering, Walkinshaw Andretti United, Erebus Motorsport and Matt Stone Racing).

Brad Jones has also signalled his intentions to have continuity, while Tickford Racing has a five-into-four dilemma and Grove Racing a three-into-two as they each consider elevating their Super2 protégé.

That leaves PremiAir and the Blanchard Racing Team as the only teams with obvious vacancies.

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