SHANE van Gisbergen has hinted that his fifth co-driver in five years of Supercars will not be Craig Lowndes, as he expects calendar clashes to rule out Earl Bamber next year.
The dates for the Petit Le Mans and the Bathurst 1000 conflict and will therefore likely stop Bamber returning to Supercars Enduros for 2019, meaning Van Gisbergen is on his now annual lookout for a new partner once again.
As well as Bamber, SVG has already gone through Jono Webb, Alex Premat and Matt Campbell over the last four Enduro campaigns and speculation was rife that Lowndes, who is set to become a co-driver next year, could be next.
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However, Van Gisbergen has poured cold water on the rumours revealing he expects the Bathurst 1000 winner to replace Paul Dumbrell and team up with former teammate Jamie Whincup.
“I mean, it would be perfect for the team and the nostalgia of it all for Craig and Jamie to be together, and I don’t know what [Dumbrell] is going to do,” said van Gisbergen.
Lowndes retirement and move into a co-driving role means the other half of this year’s Bathurst winners, Steve Richards, is out of a drive for next season, and could link up with the 29-year-old.
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Craig Lowndes won the Enduro Cup with Steve Richards as his co-driver this season.Source:News Corp Australia
“[Richards] Wouldn’t be a bad guy to put in, but I’d love to have Earl back and probably Matty Campbell will be at the top of that list,” he added.
“We’ll see what his calendar does. [Campbell] did a ripper job for us last year.
“It’s been really tough trying to hang onto a co-driver, I get along well with them, but they seem to be leaving for different reasons.”
Originally published as SVG hints at new co-driver for 2019 Supercars season
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