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Analysis

How the Supercars silly season is playing out

A frantic Supercars silly season is continuing to unfold with more big names being linked to new homes for 2024.

Start action, Brodie Kostecki, Erebus Motorsport Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 leads

Start action, Brodie Kostecki, Erebus Motorsport Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 leads

Edge Photographics

Shane van Gisbergen's impending move to NASCAR has sparked a remarkable merry-go-round with multiple race-winning seats up for grabs.

Will Brown is now all but a lock to replace van Gisbergen at Triple Eight after Erebus announced that it has given Brown an early release on his contract.

That, however, has opened up a vacancy at Erebus, which has emerged as a force in the early stages of the Gen3 era.

A number of drivers have been linked to that seat, including two-time race winner Jack Le Brocq, who is out of contract at Matt Stone Racing.

Le Brocq was tied to Erebus in his junior career, racing for the team in Australian GT as part of its development academy. He made his main game Supercars debut with the team as an enduro driver in 2015 and was in the frame for the full-time seat that ended up going to Anton De Pasquale in 2018.

Erebus does also have form when it comes to promoting young drivers, having handed debuts to De Pasquale, Brown and Brodie Kostecki in recent years.

That ties in with speculation that Super2 race winner Cooper Murray is another driver in the frame for the vacant Erebus seat.

Van Gisbergen sparked silly season into overdrive with his planned NASCAR switch

Van Gisbergen sparked silly season into overdrive with his planned NASCAR switch

Photo by: Edge Photographics

Grove Racing is another well-funded team with an eye on the driver market, with David Reynolds linked to a move to Team 18.

Team owner Stephen Grove said during the Sydney SuperNight that the team wanted longevity in its driver line-up and was therefore looking at a long-term deal with someone.

However, there are rumours that the team may instead be looking at a short-term solution until the driver market opens up more at the end of 2024.

That could open the door for veteran James Courtney to land a single-year deal with Groves, so the team can target a spearhead in 2025.

Anton De Pasquale, who is closely involved with the Groves and their GT programme, is one of the big-name drivers that will come on the market at the end of next season.

The Groves have been strategic with their contracts before, signing Lee Holdsworth on a single-year deal in 2022 to give Matt Payne another season of development in Super2.

Grove left the door ajar for another short-term deal when quizzed on the matter by Autosport.

Lee Holdsworth, Grove Racing Ford

Lee Holdsworth, Grove Racing Ford

Photo by: Edge Photographics

Quizzed by Autosport on whether Holdsworth could be retained for another year, Grove said: "It depends. We got into this to win championships, as everybody does. We are very, very focussed on that.

"With Matty, he's going very well at the moment. His development, we're happy with. We've got [junior driver] Oscar [Targett] coming through, and many years to come with him. We've got that part.

"What we have to look at is how we get to the championship from here. You're right, the market should open up at the end of 2024, but are there any opportunities this year? Can Dave do that for us? Can we find someone else that can do that?

"That's what we're reviewing now."

Other question marks for 2024 include Tickford Racing, which is still expected to downsize to two cars. The only lock there at this point is Cam Waters, who is set to stay put for at least another season.

MSR could be on the market depending on Le Brocq's movements, with Cam Hill also out of contract at the end of this season, but well-placed to stay.

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Todd Hazelwood is also out of contract at Blanchard Racing Team, which is planning to expand should it be able to acquire a second Teams Racing Charter.

That expansion would likely hand a main game debut for Aaron Love, with the team leader role still up in the air.

The second seat at Walkinshaw Andretti United is also still yet to be decided. As first reported by Autosport, Fabian Coulthard is a key contender along with WAU-backed Super2 talent Ryan Wood.

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