State of play: Supercars co-driver market

Michael Caruso at Winton

Bathurst 1000 plans are quickly coming together for the top end of town in Supercars, after Walkinshaw Andretti United snapped up arguably the highest profile free agent.

The team which won the 2021 Great Race this week announced its revised co-driver line-up, with Fabian Coulthard drafted in to replace Lee Holdsworth alongside the evergreen Warren Luff.

While pairings are yet to be announced, it means WAU should have a two-fold shot at the Peter Brock Trophy come October.

Elsewhere, spots are rapidly drying up.

Erebus Motorsport recently announced it has retained both Jack Perkins and David Russell.

Grove Racing has openly stated its intentions to debut protégé Matt Payne and bring back Matt Campbell.

And each of Tickford Racing, Brad Jones Racing and Team 18 should have at least one co-driver locked in; Zak Best has been formally announced, while the latter two teams signed Dale Wood and Michael Caruso, respectively, to two-year deals starting last season.

James Golding is also expected to stick with Team 18, having turned laps for Team 18 at Winton Motor Raceway on Tuesday, as did Caruso.

Elsewhere, Triple Eight Race Engineering almost certainly will have both Garth Tander and Craig Lowndes in its line-up once more, with Jamie Whincup to return to the driver’s seat if the team again fields a wildcard entry.

In that scenario, Lowndes would most likely shift to the wildcard, with Whincup alongside Feeney, and the 2020-winning Tander/van Gisbergen combination continuing.

At Dick Johnson Racing, there appears to be desire from both the team and three-time Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin to join forces for the first time since 2020, should his IndyCar Series commitments allow.

Alex Davison is in the frame having driven the #17 Shell Mustang during pre-season testing earlier this month, while fellow incumbent Tony D’Alberto is a known quantity.

So who does that leave?

Zane Goddard is a prized target, having flashed his speed on several occasions last year before losing out during silly season.

It would seem logical that James Moffat will remain in the lead Tickford Racing Mustang, following his second place with Cameron Waters last December.

Beyond that, there’s another two Tickford seats, three at Brad Jones Racing, and two each at Matt Stone Racing and PremiAir Racing; plus the sole Blanchard Racing Team co-drive, if Tim Blanchard decides not to go around again.

Drivers on the 2021 Bathurst 1000 grid not yet mentioned include: Kurt Kostecki, Luke Youlden, Dean Fiore, Dylan O’Keeffe, David Wall, Jonathon Webb, Jayden Ojeda, and Russell Ingall.

And that’s not to mention some up-and-comers with one or more Super2 seasons under their belt such as Angelo Mouzouris, Tyler Everingham, Aaron Seton, Matt McLean, Declan Fraser, and Jaylyn Robotham…

The 2022 Repco Bathurst 1000 will play out across October 6-9.

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