Preston Hire Racing makes co-driver switch
Preston Hire Racing has moved to replace Matthew Brabham as its co-driver for the upcoming Pirtek Enduro Cup.
The single car outfit decided to make a switch to its driver line-up, opting for a more experienced pilot to share the #18 Holden ZB Commodore with primary driver Lee Holdsworth.
Team owner Charlie Schwerkolt has moved to install 1998 Bathurst 1000 winner Jason Bright, who retired from full-time Supercars racing last year, into the position ahead of the Rabble.Club Sandown 500 Pirtek Enduro Cup opener from September 14-16.
Bright had looked set to miss out on the enduros prior to the sudden change.
“Our team has made a really tough call and has asked Matt Brabham to step aside for our 2018 Enduro campaign,” said Schwerkolt.
“Our category is so competitive and with limited test days it makes it incredibly difficult to get up to speed. Matty’s an amazing guy with incredible potential.
“The team and I are really thankful for his time and we look forward to seeing him again soon with Preston Hire Racing.
“I’d really like to welcome Jason Bright in joining the team and filling in at such short notice. He has a wealth of experience and look forward to seeing what he can bring to the team.”
Brabham had been signed to fill the role earlier this season but had limited Supercar experience having only ever contested one race meeting when he was drafted in to drive for Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport at Perth last year.
The grandson of the late three-time Formula 1 world champion Sir Jack Brabham cut laps at the pre-season test at Sydney Motorsport Park in February before completing the Additional Driver session at Winton in May.
Following the outings Brabham was involved in testing crash at Winton that required the team to abandon its test day to carry out significant repairs to its car.
He jumped back behind the wheel in the Additional Driver session at Queensland Raceway last weekend.
“Obviously I am disappointed with the position,” said Brabham.
“The incident at Winton was unfortunate, but my fault, and not being able to get that test day back hurt our program.
“I thank the #18 team for initial opportunity and wish Lee (Holdsworth) and the team all the best for the Pirtek Enduro events.
“I have to thank my tremendous group of personal sponsors, especially Markus Preston and Preston Group, who have supported me this year and who we can hopefully reward with a title in the SST championship.
“We will continue to push on with our goal still a full-time ride in either the US or Australia.”
Brabham will now focus on his Stadium Super Trucks campaign which sees him lead the series by 30 points heading into the next round at Road America from August 24-25.
Entry List Pirtek Enduro Cup 2018
|1||Red Bull HRT (Triple Eight)||Holden Commodore ZB||Jamie Whincup||Paul Dumbrell|
|97||Red Bull HRT (Triple Eight)||Holden Commodore ZB||Shane van Gisbergen||Earl Bamber|
|888||Autobarn Lowndes Racing (Triple Eight)||Holden Commodore ZB||Craig Lowndes||Steven Richards|
|2||Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing (WAU)||Holden Commodore ZB||Scott Pye||Warren Luff|
|25||Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing (WAU)||Holden Commodore ZB||James Courtney||Jack Perkins|
|5||The Bottle-O Racing (Tickford)||Ford Falcon FGX||Mark Winterbottom||Dean Canto|
|6||Monster Energy Racing (Tickford)||Ford Falcon FGX||Cameron Waters||David Russell|
|55||Supercheap Auto Racing (Tickford)||Ford Falcon FGX||Chaz Mostert||James Moffat|
|56||Tickford Racing||Ford Falcon FGX||Richie Stanaway||Steve Owen|
|7||Plus Fitness Racing (Nissan)||Nissan Altima||Andre Heimgartner||Aaren Russell|
|15||Castrol Racing (Nissan)||Nissan Altima||Rick Kelly||Garry Jacobson|
|23||Drive Racing (Nissan)||Nissan Altima||Michael Caruso||Dean Fiore|
|78||Team Harvey Norman (Nissan)||Nissan Altima||Simona de Silvestro||Alex Rullo|
|8||Brad Jones Racing||Holden Commodore ZB||Nick Percat||Macauley Jones|
|14||Freightliner Racing (BJR)||Holden Commodore ZB||Tim Slade||Ash Walsh|
|21||Team CoolDrive (BJR)||Holden Commodore ZB||Tim Blanchard||Dale Wood|
|9||Erebus Penrite Racing||Holden Commodore ZB||David Reynolds||Luke Youlden|
|99||Erebus Thermosphere Racing||Holden Commodore ZB||Anton De Pasquale||Will Brown|
|12||Shell V-Power Racing (DJRTP)||Ford Falcon FGX||Fabian Coulthard||Tony D’Alberto|
|17||Shell V-Power Racing (DJRTP)||Ford Falcon FGX||Scott McLaughlin||Alexandre Premat|
|18||Preston Hire Racing (Team 18)||Holden Commodore ZB||Lee Holdsworth||Jason Bright|
|19||Tekno Autosports||Holden Commodore ZB||Jack Le Brocq||Jonathon Webb|
|33||Wilson Security Racing GRM||Holden Commodore ZB||Garth Tander||Richard Muscat*
|34||Wilson Security Racing GRM||Holden Commodore ZB||James Golding|
|35||Bigmate Racing (MSR)||Ford Falcon FGX||Todd Hazelwood||Bryce Fullwood|
|230||Milwaukee Racing (23Red)||Ford Falcon FGX||Will Davison||Alex Davison|
* denotes pairings are yet to be confirmed.