V8 driver movements unfolding as 2013 approaches
The make-up of the 2013 V8 Supercars Championship grid is far from complete, with up to six seats still to be confirmed.
A number of scenarios have emerged, with category stalwart Russell Ingall emerging as a surprise kingpin in the silly season movements.
Ingall is currently at the end of his first year with Walkinshaw Racing, and while he has option on his contract that is likely to be taken up, Speedcafe.com understands that the deal is not secured yet.
Holden representatives would not be drawn on Ingall’s driving future.
In the event of Ingall not being retained by the Walkinshaw squad, two potential replacements have emerged, with current WR-supported driver Nick Percat and newly-crowned Dunlop Series champion Scott McLaughlin in the mix.
Percat is a known quantity within the team, having won the Bathurst 1000 with Garth Tander in 2011, plus driving the Coates Hire Commodore in the Dunlop Series.
McLaughlin, on the other hand, enjoys the support of Supercheap Auto in the New Zealand V8 SuperTourers Series, and while Ingall remains Supercheap Auto’s drawcard, McLaughlin could be a logical successor.
If Ingall does retains his WR drive, the options for McLaughlin and Percat remain strong, but are by no means certain.
McLaughlin’s stocks have grown significantly in the past week, having won both the V8 SuperTourers and Dunlop Series crowns. The 19-year-old is understood to be in discussions with Garry Rogers Motorsport and Tekno Autosports.
Speedcafe.com understands that GRM is likely to choose its driver in the coming days ahead of the team’s second Car of the Future test at Winton next Monday.
Tekno, on the other hand, is hoping to secure a major sponsor for the 2013 season. Current driver Michael Patrizi remains in the frame, although this could be dependant on the outcome of McLaughlin’s future.
The new Stone Brothers Racing/Erebus Motorsport combination, fielding the yet-to-be-revealed Mercedes Benz AMG E-Class entries, is yet to appoint a replacement for Shane van Gisbergen.
While all manner of drivers from Australia and around the world have been touted as SVG’s successors, paddock talk has placed the likes of Formula 1 driver Christian Klien and Dunlop Series stand-out Chaz Mostert in the mix.
For Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport, Scott Pye is all-but confirmed to take over the reins of the #30 iSelect Commodore, while Tim Blanchard and Taz Douglas are potential drivers in the team’s newly-acquired second entry, purchased from Paul Morris.
As outside chances, but well in the mix to retain drives in the class include Steve Owen and Greg Murphy.
If Murphy is unable to secure a full-time drive, the New Zealand legend has been linked to a plum endurance drive with the Holden Racing Team.
While there are a number of seats with no confirmed steerers, there are a handful of unconfirmed seats that have drivers attached, even though announcements are yet to be made.
As previously reported by Speedcafe.com, Alex Davison will drive Charlie Schwerkolt’s #18 Ford Performance Racing Falcon FG, while James Moffat and Michael Caruso will head the new Nissan Altima program, alongside team owner/drivers Todd and Rick Kelly.
See below for Speedcafe.com’s draft of the 2013 V8 Supercars Championship entry list. Note: Drivers in italics are yet to be confirmed.
|1||Jamie Whincup||Triple Eight Race Engineering||Holden Commodore VF|
|2||Garth Tander||Holden Racing Team||Holden Commodore VF|
|3||Tony D’Alberto||Tony D’Alberto Racing||Holden Commodore VF|
|4||Lee Holdsworth||SBR/Erebus Motorsport||Mercedes-Benz AMG E-Class|
|5||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Performance Racing||Ford Falcon FG|
|6||Will Davison||Ford Performance Racing||Ford Falcon FG|
|7||Todd Kelly||Nissan Motorsport||Nissan Altima|
|8||Jason Bright||Brad Jones Racing||Holden Commodore VF|
|9||TBC||SBR/Erebus Motorsport||Mercedes-Benz AMG E-Class|
|11||James Moffat||Nissan Motorsport||Nissan Altima|
|12||Dean Fiore||Triple F Racing||Ford Falcon FG|
|14||Fabian Coulthard||Brad Jones Racing||Holden Commodore VF|
|15||Rick Kelly||Nissan Motorsport||Nissan Altima|
|16||Michael Caruso||Nissan Motorsport||Nissan Altima|
|17||Steve Johnson||Dick Johnson Racing||Ford Falcon FG|
|18||Alex Davison||Charlie Schwerkolt Racing||Ford Falcon FG|
|19||Jonathon Webb||Tekno Autosports||Holden Commodore VF|
|21||David Wall||Brad Jones Racing||Holden Commodore VF|
|22||James Courtney||Holden Racing Team||Holden Commodore VF|
|30||Scott Pye||Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport||Holden Commodore VF|
|33||TBC||Garry Rogers Motorsport||Holden Commodore VF|
|34||TBC||Garry Rogers Motorsport||Holden Commodore VF|
|47||Tim Slade||SBR/Erebus Motorsport||Mercedes-Benz AMG E-Class|
|49||TBC||Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport||Holden Commodore VF|
|55||David Reynolds||Rod Nash Racing||Ford Falcon FG|
|66||Russell Ingall||Walkinshaw Racing||Holden Commodore VF|
|91||TBC||Tekno Autosports||Holden Commodore VF|
|888||Craig Lowndes||Triple Eight Race Engineering||Holden Commodore VF|