Triple Eight co-driver search 'in full swing'

  • Repco Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 10/12/2022
  • By James Pavey

Shane van Gisbergen’s co-driver spot is suddenly the hottest property in driverland — and Triple Eight is looking both domestic and abroad.

In a matter of hours on Friday, Garth Tander departed Triple Eight and joined Penrite Racing.

The van Gisbergen/Tander combination was the leading duo in Supercars.

In four years, they won Bathurst twice — 2020 and 2022 — and also won on the Gold Coast.

Tander will, in 2023, race a Ford for the very first time with Penrite Racing.

Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup are expected to remain as the wildcard lead and Broc Feeney’s co-driver respectively.

New Super2 champion Declan Fraser raced the wildcard with Lowndes, and has yet to confirm his 2023 plans.

The vacancy alongside van Gisbergen is now the biggest question.

Stanaway impressed in the wildcard

Triple Eight boss Whincup said the team will look locally and internationally for a Tander replacement.

"The search for his replacement is in full swing," Whincup said.

"I’m looking forward to speaking with drivers both domestic and abroad to find the best fit to co-pilot #97 alongside SVG for next year’s Sandown 500 and Bathurst 1000."

Van Gisbergen's Kiwi compatriots Richie Stanaway and Nick Cassidy are in the frame for the seat.

Stanaway wildly impressed aboard a Boost Mobile-backed Erebus wildcard in October.

In his first Supercars event in three years, Stanaway reached the Bathurst Shootout and raced to 11th with Greg Murphy.

Boost Mobile has planned future wildcard entries for Stanaway in a bid to make a full-time return.

Stanaway’s intel in the wet at Mount Panorama was even cited by Tander himself.

Kiwi Cassidy — who races in Formula E and DTM — has yet to race in Supercars.

Cassidy is making a name for himself overseas

Triple Eight recently called on Alex Premat (2016), Matt Campbell (2017) and Earl Bamber (2018) to partner van Gisbergen.

The team also won Sandown in 2005 with Frenchman Yvan Muller, and had enduro success with Sebastien Bourdais and Andy Priaulx.

Cassidy fits the bill, and was recently on site at the VALO Adelaide 500.

He tested with Erebus in 2019, and raced an LMP2 car with van Gisbergen at The Bend in 2020.

Cassidy will race with Envision Racing in Formula E next season.

There are no clashes with Formula E and both the Sandown 500 (September 15-17) and Bathurst 1000 (October 5-8).

The 2023 Repco Supercars Championship will commence in Newcastle next March.

Tickets are on sale on Supercars.com and Ticketek.com.

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