The three-time Supercars champion hasn’t been seen back in the series since he departed for IndyCar at the end of 2020.
That’s despite efforts from his old team Dick Johnson Racing to secure him as a co-driver for the Bathurst 1000 in both 2021 and 2022.
Scheduling has effectively been blamed for McLaughlin’s decision to not compete at Bathurst, the Kiwi preferring to focus on his US commitments rather than attempt to dovetail them with a Bathurst campaign.
That is even more of an issue moving forward given the Supercars enduro season has grown to two races with the reinstatement of the Sandown 500.
While it was always thought that a McLaughlin return to Bathurst would come with DJR, that too is a complicated scenario.
That’s because of McLaughlin’s alignment with Chevrolet through the Penske Indycar programme, which could take appearing in a factory Ford off the table.
The flip side, however, is that it does open the door for McLaughlin to make a sensational Great Race start in a Triple Eight Camaro alongside fierce rival Shane van Gisbergen at some point in the future.
But the door being open may not be enough for McLaughlin to want to talk through it, the driver himself conceding that it is an unlikely scenario – even if he would love to partner van Gisbergen in the Bathurst 1000.
"I highly doubt it; that's about it," McLaughlin said when asked by Motorsport.com if he could race a Red Bull Camaro at Bathurst.
"I mean, if there was one person in the Supercars paddock that I'd love to race Bathurst with, it would be Shane. But, you know, I've got loyalties to my people that I've worked with over there, and a few other things.
“And I've done what I wanted to do there. Right now, the want to race Bathurst and Supercars… this is nothing on Supercars, it's just [that] I've moved on. I'm focusing on what I need to do.
"I would love another crack at Bathurst at some point, but I want to make sure it's the right opportunity and a chance that I could win.
"But it's not probably in the foreseeable future, and I highly doubt I would probably be with [Triple Eight]."
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