Nick Percat will continue as a full-time V8 Supercars driver next season after securing a deal to race with Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport.
The talented South Australian looked likely to sit out the 2015 season following James Rosenberg’s decision to hand his #222 Racing Entitlements Contract back to V8 Supercars.
The LDM lifeline, revealed by Speedcafe.com earlier this month as Percat’s only realistic shot of remaining on the grid, will come amid a major shake-up of the team’s operations.
The Melbourne-based outfit is currently in the process of building two new chassis after receiving its second Racing Entitlements Contract back from V8 Supercars ahead of the new season
LDM is set to enjoy strengthened ties with Triple Eight as part of its latest overhaul, having run at arms-length from the Queensland-based squad this year.
Despite the rebuilding of the relationship, the team will retain the Noonan Race Engineering engines it has campaigned since October, when it switched from Triple Eight supplier KRE.
To be officially announced as soon as today, the LDM move will see Percat cut ties with Walkinshaw Racing, which had failed to raise the funding to keep Rosenberg’s entry alive.
Percat had been backed by Walkinshaw since 2007, graduating through Formula Ford and the Dunlop Series before being elevated to the main championship via a fourth entry this year.
His rookie V8 Supercars Championship season included podium finishes at Sydney Motorsport Park and Bathurst on the way to 12th in the points standings.
Walkinshaw Racing will remain at four cars in 2015, with Charlie Schwerkolt’s #18 license and driver Lee Holdsworth set to fill the void left by Rosenberg and Percat.
Despite Schwerkolt’s exit, Ford Performance Racing will continue to campaign four cars from its Campbellfield, Melbourne, base thanks to newcomers Super Black Racing.
LDM’s second seat is now the only unknown ahead of 2015, with the team remaining in discussions with several funded drivers, including its recent endurance co-pilot Tim Blanchard, following the departure of Russell Ingall.
With Percat now secure, the biggest casualty of the silly season has unarguably been Scott Pye, who lost his seat at Dick Johnson Racing amid the team’s move to its new single-car DJR Team Penske format.
The 24-year-old is expected to continue as a co-driver at DJRTP while keeping his racing skills sharp in the Carrera Cup.
See below for Speedcafe.com’s overview of the 2015 V8 Supercars field
|#1||Triple Eight Race Engineering||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore VF|
|#2||Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore VF|
|#4||Erebus Motorsport||Ashley Walsh||Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG W212|
|#5||Ford Performance Racing||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG X|
|#6||Ford Performance Racing||Chaz Mostert||Ford Falcon FG X|
|#7||Nissan Motorsport||Todd Kelly||Nissan Altima L33|
|#8||Brad Jones Racing||Jason Bright||Holden Commodore VF|
|#9||Erebus Motorsport||Will Davison||Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG W212|
|#14||Brad Jones Racing||Fabian Coulthard||Holden Commodore VF|
|#15||Nissan Motorsport||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima L33|
|#17||DJR Team Penske||Marcos Ambrose||Ford Falcon FG X|
|#18||Charlie Schwerkolt Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Holden Commodore VF|
|#21||Brad Jones Racing||Dale Wood||Holden Commodore VF|
|#22||Holden Racing Team||James Courtney||Holden Commodore VF|
|#33||Volvo Polestar Racing||Scott McLaughlin||Volvo S60|
|#34||Volvo Polestar Racing||David Wall||Volvo S60|
|#47||Walkinshaw Racing||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore VF|
|#55||The Bottle-O Racing||David Reynolds||Ford Falcon FG/FG X|
|#97||Tekno Autosports||Shane van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore VF|
|#99||Nissan Motorsport||James Moffat||Nissan Altima L33|
|#111||Super Black Racing||Andre Heimgartner||Ford Falcon FG/FG X|
|#888||Triple Eight Race Engineering||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore VF|
|#TBA||Nissan Motorsport||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima L33|
|#TBA||Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore VF|
|#TBA||Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport||TBA||Holden Commodore VF|