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Casey Stoner set for V8 Supercar deal?
19 January 2013 Update: Despite an Australian newspaper saying it "can finally confirm the worst-kept secret in the V8 Supercar paddock" (link below) and running quotes attributed to Casey Stoner that include "it's the new chapter in my career" - the man himself insists a decision has not yet been made.
Stoner wrote on Twitter: "Don't believe everything you read! Haven't decided what I'm doing yet, of course V8 Supercars is on the cards. Will let you know when I do!"
Two-time MotoGP champion Casey Stoner looks set to make the switch from two to four-wheel motorsport competition in 2013 after reportedly inking a deal to drive in the Australian V8 Supercar Dunlop series.
Stoner bid farewell to motorcycle racing at the end of the 2012 season having accumulated 38 MotoGP race wins and two titles over 115 races and seven seasons, but while the man himself has vociferously stated that he would never return to MotoGP, he refused to dismiss a move into four-wheel racing.
Having closely followed and previously driven a V8 Supercar, rumours of a switch were fuelled further when Stoner again tested with the leading Triple Eight Racing outfit late last year, but only now has a deal to race in the second-tier V8 Supercar Dunlop series – often seen as a breeding ground for today's current V8 stars – apparently been confirmed, according to Australia's Sunday Mail
Expected to drive a Red Bull-backed Holden Commodore, as previously campaigned by Triple Eight's four-time champion Jamie Whincup, Stoner is tipped to make his debut in the upcoming Clipsal 500, held around the streets of Adelaide, on February 28th (when his former MotoGP rivals will be testing at Sepang).
Set to retain his iconic 'No.27' plate, Stoner is said to be looking forward to embarking on a new chapter in his sporting career, even if he is aware that the transition to the highly competitive series will be difficult.
"Since I was 12, I've always been interested in it," Stoner reportedly said of the V8 category, during an interview with the official program for the Clipsal 500 to be released next month.
"It was always my plan during my whole career to drive a V8. It's now the new chapter in my career but I have to be realistic and see if we're capable of doing anything.
"The hardest thing I have had to do is change whatever I know about braking and changing through gears," Stoner adds. "I am having to rethink again. I have to forget everything I know about bikes and change to learn to drive these."
The report states that Stoner will get his first outing in the car during a test at Sydney Motorsport Park on February 16th.
The V8 Supercar Dunlop Series uses older cars and adopts a smaller calendar than the main V8 Supercar Championship, with seven races held over seven rounds.
The 2013 schedule will see Stoner competing at Adelaide, Barbagallo, Townsville, Queensland Raceway, Winton Raceway, Bathurst and the Sydney street circuit.