Five more driver pairings have been confirmed for this year’s three endurance events on the V8 Supercars Championship calendar, with Garry Rogers Motorsport, Tekno Autosports and the final seat at Erebus Racing all signed, sealed and delivered.
Andrew Thompson has been announced today as Tom Slade’s co-driver in the #47 Heavy Haulage Australia-sponsored Erebus Motorsport AMG for the upcoming endurance events at Sandown, Bathurst and Surfers Paradise.
It will be the second time the combination has driven together, with the pair having claimed a pair of seventh-placed finishes at last year’s Sandown and Bathurst events.
This year, Thompson will drive with Slade in completely different machinery, with the team formerly known as Stone Brother Racing Ford now renamed and sporting the bodywork and engine of a Mercedes E63 AMG.
The three-car Erebus line-up had already finalised the co-driver line-ups of its other cars, with Steven Johnson announced as Maro Engel’s partner in the SP Tools entry, while Lee Holdsworth will be partnered by Craig Baird.
In its final year running Holden Commodores before it fronts Volvo’s Polestar effort next year, Garry Rogers Motorsport will use the same co-drivers as last year. Jack Perkins and Greg Ritter will pair up with Scott McLaughlin and Alexandre Premat respectively.
With Ritter having partnered now-Nissan racer Michael Caruso last year, Perkins will once again team up Premat, having outperformed the Frenchman when they drove together last year at Bathurst. Such was Premat’s dramas that weekend that the team was forced to have Perkins qualify the car; the struggling Frenchman was dropped for the following round at Surfers Paradise for his troubles.
Lieb will once again partner Jonathon Webb, with the pair hoping to repeat or better the podium finish they achieved at last year’s Gold Coast 600.
Bleekemolen and Shane van Gisbergen will reunite, although this time it will be in Holden colours after the pair had driven together when the Kiwi was with Stone Brothers Racing last year.
Bleekemolen has enjoyed past success at Bathurst, competing with some aplomb in both the Bathurst 12 Hours and the Carrera Cup support race events at Mount Panorama.
The appointments leave just three vacancies in the co-driver field, with the partners for Russell Ingall (SuperCheap Auto Racing) and Dean Fiore (Lucas Dumbrell Motorsports) still to be announced.
Brad Jones Racing will also be on the lookout for a new co-driver for David Wall, who had been set to be teamed up with Danish racer Allan Simonsen, only for the Dane to tragically be killed two weeks ago at the Le Mans 24 Hours.