Walkinshaw confirms expansion to four cars
Nick Percat has been rewarded with a full-time drive with Walkinshaw Racing, confirming its widely anticipated move to a four-car operation in 2014.
As reported on Tuesday, Percat will drive under the Racing Entitlements Contract owned by Adelaide’s James Rosenberg, which has shifted from Erebus Motorsport.
The Rosenberg entry joins the incumbent WR-fielded Holden Racing Team cars of Tander and James Courtney and the Supercheap Auto Commodore of new-for-2014 recruit Tim Slade.
Walkinshaw Racing is yet to confirm a sponsor for Percat’s entry.
The Sydney event will represent Percat’s first solo effort in the main game, which will now serve as a the perfect warm-up for his full-time call-up next year.
“To know that I will finally be on the V8 Supercars main series grid next year is a dream come true, something I’ve been working towards since I was five years old,” said Percat, who won the 2011 Bathurst 1000 for the HRT.
“I can’t thank James Rosenberg enough for giving me the chance, and all the people at Walkinshaw Racing for having faith in me.
“The opportunity also couldn’t come at a better time as the trend at WR is encouraging – the cars are showing great speed, and some very talented, experienced and successful new staff are coming on board next year, who will only add strength to the organisation.”
Rosenberg was the driving force behind developing Slade’s career since he made his main game debut in 2009.
“There’s a lot of personal satisfaction in helping young drivers – being part of Tim’s career has given me great pleasure and I look forward to more of the same with a talented driver in Nick Percat,” Rosenberg said.
“As part of that, I’m extremely happy to partner with such a successful racing organisation as Walkinshaw Racing.”
It had long been speculated that WR was on the lookout to run a fourth REC with the Melbourne operation seeing it as a crucial commercial move.
“Running a four car model clearly makes more sense for our business and gives us a greater opportunity as a group to win races,” the squad’s chairman Ryan Walkinshaw said.
“It gives us the ability to create an environment where all four drivers are pushing each other for results.”
“James is an extremely successful businessman who is passionate about motorsport, and has a fine reputation for fostering young talent – we look forward to a successful relationship,” he said.
“Nick has been a Walkinshaw Racing-supported driver since 2007 and giving him an opportunity in the main game has always been part of our strategy.
“Nick has a tremendous amount of natural talent and I look forward to watching his progress.”
Percat finished fourth in the 2012 Dunlop Series last year and was second in the Carrera Cup standings this season behind Craig Baird.
He is this weekend competing in the final round of the New Zealand V8 SuperTourer Series in New Zealand.
See below video of Nick Percat’s announcement