LDM closes on Blanchard co-driver decision
The final Pirtek Enduro Cup seat will soon be locked in, with Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport closing on a co-driver for Tim Blanchard.
LDM’s second seat currently remains unfilled, with the team continuing to canvass international interest in the drive.
The Melbourne-based Holden outfit has already secured the services of Brit Oliver Gavin to share with Nick Percat in its other entry.
Belgian GT ace Laurens Vanthoor had long been linked to the Blanchard Commodore, but has now been ruled out due to a date clash.
Team owner Lucas Dumbrell confirmed to Speedcafe.com that a short list of candidates is still being assessed ahead of a final decision.
While an international may still be selected, those in contention are understood to include experienced Australians David Brabham and Karl Reindler, as well as Dunlop Series driver Aaren Russell.
Brabham and Reindler have both been absent from V8 Supercars since the 2013 Gold Coast 600, where they drove for Erebus and Nissan respectively.
Russell, meanwhile, has raced in the Dunlop Series since 2010 but is yet to make his V8 Supercars Championship debut.
“It will be decided in the next couple of weeks,” Dumbrell told Speedcafe.com.
“We’re still weighing up the pros and cons of a few guys.
“We have looked internationally, but there’s no particular preference of an international or a local at this point.
“We just want the best bloke that we can get.”
In addition to Gavin, this year’s Pirtek Enduro Cup field is confirmed to include imports Sebastien Bourdais (Walkinshaw Racing) and Alex Premat (Volvo Polestar GRM).
Further internationals could also be added via wildcards, with DJR Team Penske still weighing up a second Falcon for the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
See below for a summary of the Pirtek Enduro Cup field
|#1||Triple Eight Race Engineering||Jamie Whincup||Paul Dumbrell||Holden Commodore VF|
|#2||Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Warren Luff||Holden Commodore VF|
|#3||Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport||Tim Blanchard||TBA||Holden Commodore VF|
|#4||Erebus Motorsport||Ashley Walsh||Jack Le Brocq||Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG W212|
|#5||Prodrive Racing Australia||Mark Winterbottom||Steve Owen||Ford Falcon FG X|
|#6||Prodrive Racing Australia||Chaz Mostert||Cameron Waters||Ford Falcon FG X|
|#7||Nissan Motorsport||Todd Kelly||Alex Buncombe||Nissan Altima L33|
|#8||Brad Jones Racing||Jason Bright||Andrew Jones||Holden Commodore VF|
|#9||Erebus Motorsport||Will Davison||Alex Davison||Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG W212|
|#14||Brad Jones Racing||Fabian Coulthard||Luke Youlden||Holden Commodore VF|
|#15||Nissan Motorsport||Rick Kelly||David Russell||Nissan Altima L33|
|#17||DJR Team Penske||Scott Pye||Marcos Ambrose||Ford Falcon FG X|
|#18||Charlie Schwerkolt Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Sebastien Bourdais||Holden Commodore VF|
|#21||Brad Jones Racing||Dale Wood||Macauley Jones*||Holden Commodore VF|
|#22||Holden Racing Team||James Courtney||Jack Perkins||Holden Commodore VF|
|#23||Nissan Motorsport||Michael Caruso||Dean Fiore||Nissan Altima L33|
|#33||Volvo Polestar Racing||Scott McLaughlin||Alexandre Premat||Volvo S60|
|#34||Volvo Polestar Racing||David Wall||Chris Pither||Volvo S60|
|#47||Walkinshaw Racing||Tim Slade||Tony D’Alberto||Holden Commodore VF|
|#55||Rod Nash Racing||David Reynolds||Dean Canto||Ford Falcon FG X|
|#97||Tekno Autosports||Shane van Gisbergen||Jonathon Webb||Holden Commodore VF|
|#99||Nissan Motorsport||James Moffat||Taz Douglas||Nissan Altima L33|
|#111||Super Black Racing||Andre Heimgartner||Ant Pedersen||Ford Falcon FG X|
|#222||Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport||Nick Percat||Oliver Gavin||Holden Commodore VF|
|#888||Triple Eight Race Engineering||Craig Lowndes||Steven Richards||Holden Commodore VF|
*driver yet to be confirmed