September 16, 2021

Bathurst back on McLaughlin’s radar

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With the Bathurst 1000 now shifted back to November, it’s now well clear of the IndyCar finale in Long Beach on September 26.

That has opened the door for three-time Supercars champion to make it back to Australia in time for the Great Race, which means he could still yet line up for Dick Johnson Racing as initially planned.

McLaughlin flagged his interest in doing exactly that on Twitter right as news of the Supercars calendar changes broke.

“Well. Hello Bathurst. Let’s try and make this work again,” he wrote.

The Kiwi agreed to re-join DJR for Bathurst as part of his split with the team, along with Team Penske, at the end of last year.

However his Bathurst plans were swiftly skittled when IndyCar tweaked its calendar with Long Beach as the finale on September 26.

That wasn’t going to give McLaughlin time to return to Australia and complete the two weeks of mandatory hotel quarantine before the original October 7-10 date.

The four-week delay has removed that obstacle, although McLaughlin would still need to secure a spot in the hotel quarantine programme, something that has become increasingly difficult this year with caps on new overseas arrivals.

DJR has a back-up plan in place, Alex Davison on standby to partner brother Will in the #17 Mustang if McLaughlin isn’t there.

Tony D’Alberto is, as it stands, set to partner Anton De Pasquale in the #11 entry. However the partnerships have yet to be formalised, which means that if McLaughlin is available he could still be partnered with either Davison or De Pasquale.

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