@journeyer – I don’t think Stoner is going to join V8 Supercars. Not straight away. I believe he wants to spend some time with his family before he looks at a future in motorsport. I expect he would do some Development Series guest spots (kind of like the NASCAR Nationwide series – I don’t know if you’re Australian, so I’m not sure if you know what the Development Series is) here and there before moving up into V8 Supercars.
If Stoner does go straight into V8 Supercars (which I consider to be unlikely), then he probably won’t join Triple Eight for two reasons: first of all, they’re a championship-winning team. Stoner has only done a few laps in a V8 Supercar. It’s nowhere near enough to justify putting him straight into the team. And secondly, they don’t have a third entry. The V8 Supercar grid is governed by Racing Entitlement Contracts. Every car has an REC to go with it. Triple Eight would need a third REC to enter Stoner, but they only have two. Every other REC is spoken for, and the category’s governing body will not make any more RECs available because they believe the grid is at the right size as it currently is.
There’s no way that Stoner will race full time in V8 Supercars for at least four or five years. He retired because he wants time off without constant commitments.
He will definitely race eventually and it will be for Triple 8, but not for a while. After he has done some development series races, he might be good enough for the enduros at Sandown and Bathurst soon.
I wouldn’t mind seeing Webber, Vettel or Ricciardo at the Gold Coast 600.