After weeks of speculation around whether Kiwi Scott McLaughlin would take part in this year’s delayed Repco Bathurst 1000, his absence has finally been confirmed.
Shell V-Power Racing has announced that its No. 17 entry will be piloted by Will Davison and his brother, super-sub Alex Davison at this year’s Great Race, with McLaughlin’s ability to take part in the race thwarted by ongoing travel restrictions and quarantine requirements.
The team’s No. 12 entry, meanwhile, will be driven by Anton De Pasquale and Tony D’Alberto.
“It is disappointing to not be able to travel home and take part in the biggest race on the Australian motorsport calendar,” said McLaughlin.
“It’s something I was looking forward to, but with the prolonged quarantine requirements and Australian COVID-19 restrictions, the timing just hasn’t worked out.
“I was also looking forward to seeing the team, the Supercars supporters, and my family and friends – who I haven’t seen in over 18 months – and putting on a great show at Mount Panorama.
“Hopefully we can see what 2022 brings. I know Alex will do a great job in my place. I’ll certainly be watching from the US and wish the team the best of luck for the season finale.”
It’s the first time that McLaughlin will miss a Bathurst 1000 start since his debut in 2012 alongside Jonathon Webb at Tekno Autosports.
For the Davison brothers, meanwhile, it’s a continuation of a relatively successful partnership. The duo have competed at Bathurst together on four occasions, with a best finish of fourth in 2014.
“We knew from the beginning of the season that Scott’s availability to race with us this year would rest on a number of factors, including the ever-evolving COVID-19 pandemic along with the IndyCar schedule,” added Shell V-Power Racing chairman Ryan Storey.
“Unfortunately, the timing just hasn’t aligned how we’d hoped. Alex is a quality driver who has a history with this team, and of course pairing him with his brother makes them a terrific combination for this year’s Great Race.
“He has been spending a lot of time with us here at the workshop, getting to know the cars and the team and learning how we operate.