Alex Rullo will be replaced by Jack Perkins at Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport for the final two rounds of the 2017 Supercars Championship season.
Perkins, who partnered James Courtney at Mobil 1 HSV Racing for the Pirtek Enduro Cup, earned sudden call-up comes after a dispute between Rullo’s management and the backmarker LD Motorsport outfit.
Rullo became the youngest ever driver to make a Supercars Championship race start as a sixteen-year-old when he debuted at the Clipsal 500 Adelaide. The West Australian required a special licence dispensation from the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) in order to race.
Rullo has proven largely capable in his rookie Supercars campaign, however his inexperience coupled with the team’s lack of funding has kept him mired at the back of the pack. His best result to-date is a fifteenth place with co-driver Alex Davison at the Bathurst 1000.
While Rullo had signed a two-year deal to race for LD Motorsport, speculation of a split between driver and team emerged after the Gold Coast 600 round when Prodrive Racing protégé Richie Stanaway was linked to drive Rullo’s #62 Holden VF Commodore for the final two rounds of the championship at Auckland and Newcastle.
The four-car Prodrive Racing stable currently fields Mark Winterbottom, Cameron Waters, Jason Bright and Chaz Mostert in its full-time line-up and is pressing to promote Stanaway into a full-time drive after his impressive showing in this year’s Pirtek Enduro Cup.
It is understood that Prodrive will buy one of the Racing Entitlements Contracts owned by LD Motorsport team to allow it to run Stanaway next year, while also supplying the financially embattled team with one of its Ford Falcon cars to race as a single-car operation next year.
With LD Motorsport set to scale back to one car if this is the case, it is believed that the team had no plans to retain Rullo next year, prompting the youngster’s management to pull the pin on his stint with the team.
It is understood that Aaren Russell will continue behind the wheel of the sister #3 entry for the Pukekohe round on top of his already-confirmed appearance at his home race in Newcastle at the end of November.
Images via LAT Images and LD Motorsport