Three-time series champion Scott Mclaughlin looks set to return to this years Bathurst 1000.
A mid-year change to the Indycar calendar meant Mclaughlin would miss the 1000, as he wouldn’t be able to complete the required two weeks in isolation before Bathurst begins.
With the race now pushed back a month, this is no longer an issue.
Dick Johnson Racing boss Ryan Story recently spoke to Motorsport.com about Mclaughlin’s potential return to the team for this year’s Bathurst 1000.
“We’re fortunate to have Alex Davison as our sub, but any opportunity to get the three-time reigning champ back to play second fiddle as a co-driver at Bathurst, you’d be mad not to take it,” Story told Motorsport.com.
“When we did the deal after Bathurst last year for Dick and myself to take over ownership, a key part of that discussion between Roger Penske, Tim Cindric and myself was that Scott would come back to do Bathurst.”
While the new calendar gives him the time needed to get through isolation and be out in time for the race, his return isn’t guaranteed.
“The only thing that could potentially jeopardise it is no different to before, and that’s the COVID situation here locally.”
“But save for that condition in New South Wales not improving the way that we desperately hope that it does, I think there’s every likelihood that we’ll be able to get him out here.”
“We’ll go through all the right processes, go through the right channels and do everything the right way to ensure that we get the right approvals,”
“We want to respect all of those processes. But it would be an absolute pleasure to have him there and I know that he’s champing at the bit to do it.”
McLaughlin’s potential return does complicate the team’s driver combinations.
When it became clear that McLaughlin may not make the 1000 Alex Davidson emerged as a potential replacement.
It seemed clear that he would pair brother Will Davidson in the #17, while Tony D’Alberto would partner Anton De Pasquale in the #11
The reigning series champion has ties to both cars, having run the #17 each season he raced for the team, while his former engineer Ludo Lacroix works on car #11 with De Pasquale.
“That hasn’t been decided yet,”
“So it’s an interesting one. Either way, we’ll be very well served no matter what ultimate combination we decide on.”
Main image:Mark Horsburgh