Co-drivers chalk up early 2023 laps

15 Feb 2023
'The program really starts now'

Co-drivers have have their first laps in 2023 among the early Gen3 tests in the pre-season.

Garth Tander, Fabian Coulthard, Lee Holdsworth and Jack Perkins have all lapped Winton this week.

High-profile signing Tander joined Penrite Racing for a second time in as many weeks on Wednesday.

Tander joined the Ford team from Red Bull Ampol Racing, and cut his first Penrite Mustang laps last week in the squad’s #19 entry.

Penrite Racing lapped its #26 Ford on Wednesday, with Tander, David Reynolds and Matt Payne all getting behind the wheel.

Tander, who has now completed two track days with the team, hasn't yet been assigned to a car for the enduros.

Across at Walkinshaw Andretti United, returnee Holdsworth and Coulthard had an early taste of the team’s new Fords.

Holdsworth was announced as Chaz Mostert’s co-driver, with Coulthard alongside Nick Percat, just hour before Wednesday’s test.

History made: Inside WAU's first Ford test

The two veterans observed proceedings as Mostert and Percat rolled out of pit lane in the morning, before lapping the cars themselves later on.

Holdsworth, Coulthard, Tander, Perkins and Richie Stanaway are the only drivers to have been confirmed for the 2023 enduros.

Perkins tested his Erebus Motorsport-run ZB Commodore at Winton on Tuesday.


He shared the track with the #9 Coca-Cola Camaro he will share with Will Brown at Sandown and Bathurst.

Stanaway will race with Shane van Gisbergen this year, but has yet to test one of Triple Eight’s Camaros.

He has, however, already raced for the team — Stanaway competed in a Pro-Am Mercedes-AMG with Jamie Whincup at the LIQUI MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour.

Given there are two enduros this season — the Penrite Oil Sandown 500 and Repco Bathurst 1000 — every lap is critical for the co-drivers.

Coulthard drove Percat's new Ford

“Having two endurance events back on the calendar is great,” Coulthard said.

“So the program really starts now, putting ourselves in the best possible position for later in the year.

“The team have done a great job getting these cars ready over summer, they look incredible.

“It will be great to get a few laps at the shakedown to start to understand the new rig – I think it will be really important come endurance season.”

Holdsworth added: "Having the two enduros this year is awesome, and Sandown is the perfect lead up to Bathurst.

“There will be a lot to learn for us co-drivers this year with Gen3, so adapting as quickly as possible is going to be really important.

“It’s great to be involved this early in the year – the team has done an incredible job with these cars over the break.”

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