Casey Stoner denies link to V8s ... for now

LAINE CLARK
Last updated 16:27 23/01/2013

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Reports of a V8 Supercars move have been denied by two-time MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner - for now.

As the rumour mill went into overdrive after it emerged Kiwi young gun Shane van Gisbergen could return to V8 Supercars in 2013, Stoner claimed he had not signed on for the category.

V8 fans rejoiced just last week when it was reported Stoner had officially linked with touring cars and would make his debut in the second-tier development series at the season-opening Adelaide 500 on February 28.

Stoner was expected to race a Red Bull Holden Commodore backed by Triple Eight Racing, previously driven by four-time Supercars champion Jamie Whincup, after being seen driving in their recent test sessions.

However, Stoner tweeted that he had not yet made up his mind after it emerged his quotes in last week's report had been traced back to articles printed in 2012.

But it may be just a matter of time before Stoner signs the dotted line, judging by his Twitter tease.

"Don't believe everything you read," Stoner tweeted.

"Haven't decided what I'm doing yet, of corse (sic) V8 Supercars is on the cards.

"Will let you know when I do!"

Stoner has made no secret that he has already held discussions with the Red Bull team but his test sessions in Whincup's Commodore at Queensland Raceway were not classified as official and he is yet to be entered into the second-tier category.

The question mark over Stoner almost overshadowed reports that van Gisbergen would end one of sport's shortest sabbaticals and link with Queensland-based Tekno Autosports and team up with Holden driver Jonathon Webb this season.

Van Gisbergen shocked the V8 fraternity when he announced last November that he would walk away from racing in Australia and juggle a busy schedule featuring stints in the NZ's SuperTourers, drifting events and possibly a Kiwi rally series.

Van Gisbergen had emerged as the category's rising star with Ford powerhouse Stone Brothers Racing - which has switched to newcomer Mercedes this season - before making his surprise call.

Meanwhile, V8 Supercars have confirmed the 2013 round at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi had been scrapped after not receiving the green light from Formula One authorities.

The V8s had been the support category for the F1 Grand Prix at the glamour circuit last year but Formula One Management opted not to give the Supercars the nod in 2013.

"It has always been clear that FOM ultimately decides, or approves, support categories that run in conjunction with Formula One," V8 Supercars boss David Malone said.

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"There are contingencies in place and we will discuss the options, which may include racing on an alternate date to Formula One in 2014, with Yas Marina Circuit as soon as possible."

- AAP

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