Rod Salmon has pulled out of this weekend’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 and will be replaced in the Greg Murphy Racing Commodore by Marcus Zukanovic.
The decision came after Salmon crashed at the top of the mountain in Practice 2, resigning the 50-year-old to a best recorded time of 2m19.8s – 12.7 seconds slower than pace-setter Jamie Whincup.
Team principal Kevin Murphy told Speedcafe.com.au that Salmon himself decided to step down from the drive.
“We will be applying for a change,” Murphy said.
“He (Salmon) hasn’t been up to the standard required, and didn’t feel comfortable with that level of competition.
“He will be continuing in the Fujitsu Series, but unfortunately was struggling to get to the time required to be in the Main Game.
“He made the decision, and we went along with that.”
Zukanovic’s reinstatement back into the 44 car places him alongside Geoff Emery, the same pairing that finished 23rd at the L&H 500 at Phillip Island.
Both Salmon and Zukanovic are entered in the Fujitsu Series this weekend. Salmon is driving for Jay Motorsports, and ended the day 18th out of 23 runners courtesy of a 2m16.2s in Practice 2. Zukanovic, driving his privately entered Commodore VZ, was 13th at the end of Fujitsu Series practice proceedings.
The late change means that there will now be four rookies in The Great Race field, with Zukanovic joining James Moffat, Ant Pedersen and Emery as first-timers – equalling the lowest number of rookies in the event’s history.