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LDM still chasing second driver for 2016

Friday 22nd January, 2016 - 4:00am

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LDM's #3 entry in action at Sydney last December

LDM’s #3 entry in action at Sydney last December

Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport remains without a confirmed team-mate for Nick Percat as the new V8 Supercars season approaches.

With the announcement of Cameron Waters’ place at Prodrive a formality, LDM’s #3 Holden is the only drive left in dispute ahead of the Clipsal 500 on March 3-6.

The seat has been officially vacant since late November last year, when incumbent Tim Blanchard elected to sign with Brad Jones Racing.

Andre Heimgartner, Ash Walsh and Aaren Russell are all known to have held discussions with LDM in December, before each sorting drives elsewhere in recent weeks.

LDM team manager Barry Hay has confirmed to Speedcafe.com that a deal with a driver remains yet to be struck, but could be done within a week if the right backing can be secured.

With a lack of obvious candidates remaining in Australia, the team is thought to be looking at international options.

“We’re in the final throws of sorting out what we’re doing with the second car, but nothing is done yet,” Hay told Speedcafe.com.

“We thought we’d have it sorted by now, so it’s been a longer process than we would have liked.

“It’s late, but everyone here has been flat-out on both cars moving ahead and getting ready regardless.”

The team is also looking to recruit a new engineer for its second car following Brendan Hogan’s move to Prodrive.

Efforts to improve LDM’s technical package will meanwhile see the team return to the KRE engine fold for the new season.

Engines were a major frustration for LDM last year, with performance and reliability both lacking from its mix of ageing KRE and Noonan sourced units.

Run by Ken McNamara, KRE is the long-time supplier of Triple Eight and its customer Tekno Autosports.

“Having KRE looking after our engines will be a big bonus for us,” said Hay.

“Initially the main priority will be servicing what we’ve got and bringing those engines up to speed

“Then more new bits will come online throughout the year.”

A new Triple Eight chassis has also been ordered for Nick Percat, but is not expected to arrive until mid-year.

Percat will therefore start the year in the same car he finished 2015, while the second driver will receive the repaired chassis unraced since Blanchard’s crash at Bathurst.

“It had an extensive repair at Garry Rogers Motorsport and is now painted and good as new,” said Hay.

The two main series entries will be run alongside Alex Rullo’s Dunlop Series Holden, which is the chassis that Blanchard used in the final rounds of last year.

LDM has also expanded to field Alex’s father Peter’s Lamborghini at the Bathurst 12 Hour and Australian GT Championship, completing a test with the car this week at Phillip Island.

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