Whincup will step down from co-driving if needed
Thursday 26th October, 2023 - 12:26pm
Jamie Whincup is happy to step down from co-driving in Supercars if Shane van Gisbergen returns for Sandown and Bathurst next year.
Triple Eight has effectively locked in its enduro line-up for next season by signing Team 18 outcast Scott Pye on a two-year deal.
The likelihood is that Pye will partner new full-time driver Will Brown while Whincup will continue alongside Broc Feeney.
The wildcard in that, however, is van Gisbergen.
THE FINAL RACE OF THE 2023 REPCO SUPERCARS CHAMPIONSHIP ON ONE OF THE WORLD’S BEST STREET CIRCUITS. GO ALL IN AT THE VAILO ADELAIDE 500, CLICK HERE TO BUY TICKETS
The NASCAR-bound Kiwi has expressed a desire to defend his Bathurst 1000 crown next year if he can fit it into what looks to be a packed US programme.
While unlikely, if van Gisbergen is able to do Sandown and Bathurst, Whincup says he will happily step aside.
“I didn’t want to be left with no [co-driver] options,” Whincup told Speedcafe. “I’d rather have too many than not enough.
“So if SVG wants to come back, then I’ll happily sit aside. But if he chooses not to, then we’re covered with myself and Scotty Pye.
“My deal with the team is that if I’m the best option, I’m in. If, for some reason, I’m not the better option, then I’m out.
“I love driving, of course, and I want to be out there. But I’m very unselfish and I just want the best for for for the team.”
Whincup and Feeney are coming off the back of an impressive 2023 enduro season, the pair combining to win the Sandown 500 before a gear shift tower failure cost them a clear podium at Bathurst.
Should he miss out on his Red Bull seat next year, there would be the option to jump into the Supercheap Auto-backed wildcard alongside Craig Lowndes, although the preference for that role has been a young driver over the past three years.