Additional co-driver practice at Bathurst likely

Supercars is likely to increase the amount of dedicated co-driver practice sessions at this year’s Bathurst 1000.

Co-driver milage will be well down heading into the 2020 running of the Great Race, with most not having driven a Supercar since the pre-season test in February thanks to test and co-driver sessions having been canned due to the pandemic.

Race miles in general are down for the co-drivers as well, thanks to limited running for the likes of TCR Australia, Super2 and Carrera Cup.

Supercars has looked to partly rectify that with a limited co-driver inclusion at this weekend’s second round at The Bend. The short rookie session before Practice 1 can be used by co-drivers who have made less than three Bathurst starts.

None of the Melbourne-based drivers will be able to take part, however, as they begin quarantine procedures to get access to New South Wales.

To help level the playing field it’s expected that more of the practice time during Bathurst week will be limited to co-drivers.

Last year there were two hour-long dedicated co-driver sessions from a total of seven practice hit-outs, with that number likely to grow this time around.

According to seven-time series champion Jamie Whincup, the amount of pre-race running at Bathurst should give co-drivers time to prepare.

“The saving grace is that there’s seven hours of practice, including warm-up and everything, before we get to the race,” he said. “And in the race there’s six hours.

“From what a birdie told me there’ll be a few more co-driver sessions, maybe three or four of that seven hours will be co-driver only. So they’ll get heaps of running at the circuit they’re going to race at before the big race.

“While most co-drivers haven’t done anywhere near the amount of laps they would normally do in a normal year, they’ll probably get a little bit more at Bathurst.”

Whincup added that the primary drivers will be able to sacrifice some practice running at Bathurst, thanks to a hectic schedule that has included six race weekends over seven weeks.

“We’ll be more ready than ever,” he said. “We’ve done more racing in the last couple of months [than normal], so we’ll be race fit come the Mountain. So it’s probably a good idea to give the co-drivers a bit more time.”

The majority of the 2020 Bathurst 1000 field has been set, with the remaining confirmations expected in the coming days.

2020 Bathurst 1000 entry list

TeamDriver #1Driver #2Car
Walkinshaw Andretti UnitedBryce FullwoodKurt KosteckiHolden Commodore ZB
Walkinshaw Andretti UnitedChaz MostertWarren LuffHolden Commodore ZB
Brad Jones RacingMacauley JonesTBCHolden Commodore ZB
Brad Jones RacingJack SmithJack PerkinsHolden Commodore ZB
Brad Jones RacingNick PercatThomas RandleHolden Commodore ZB
Brad Jones RacingTodd HazelwoodJordan BoysHolden Commodore ZB
Tickford RacingLee HoldsworthMichael CarusoFord Mustang GT
Tickford RacingCameron WatersWill DavisonFord Mustang GT
Tickford RacingJames CourtneyBroc FeeneyFord Mustang GT
Tickford RacingJack Le BrocqJames MoffatFord Mustang GT
Kelly RacingAndre HeimgartnerTBCFord Mustang GT
Kelly RacingRick KellyDale WoodFord Mustang GT
Erebus MotorsportDavid ReynoldsWill BrownHolden Commodore ZB
Erebus MotorsportAnton De PasqualeBrodie KosteckiHolden Commodore ZB
DJR Team PenskeFabian CoulthardTony D’AlbertoFord Mustang GT
DJR Team PenskeScott McLaughlinTim SladeFord Mustang GT
Team 18Mark WinterbottomJames GoldingHolden Commodore ZB
Team 18Scott PyeDean FioreHolden Commodore ZB
Team SydneyAlex DavisonJonathon WebbHolden Commodore ZB
Team SydneyChris PitherSteve OwenHolden Commodore ZB
Matt Stone RacingZane GoddardJake KosteckiHolden Commodore ZB
Matt Stone RacingGarry JacobsonDavid RussellHolden Commodore ZB
Triple Eight Race EngineeringShane van GisbergenGarth TanderHolden Commodore ZB
Triple Eight Race EngineeringJamie WhincupCraig LowndesHolden Commodore ZB
Garry Rogers MotorsportTyler EveringhamNathan HerneHolden Commodore ZB

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