SYDNEY, New South Wales, Australia — official series release — V8 Supercars photo —
Supercheap Auto Holden Commodore VF driver Tim Slade has expressed his sympathy for his Walkinshaw Racing teammate Nick Percat, who is in danger of losing his drive for 2015.
Rookie Percat won the 2011 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 with Garth Tander before making the transition full-time to the V8 Supercars Championship this year in the HHA/Coates Hire Racing Commodore.
After a slow start he has hit his stride and is now threatening for 10th in the drivers’ championship with just this weekend’s finale, the Sydney NRMA 500, to run.
“Hopefully Nick can find something for the future. Personally, I think he’s done enough this year to warrant that he belongs here,” said Slade after setting third fastest time behind the Holden Racing Team’s Garth Tander and James Courtney at Sydney Olympic Park this afternoon.
Percat’s entry in the 2014 championship has been underpinned by the license (or Racing Entitlements Contract) of motorsport entrepreneur James Rosenberg.
However, while much has yet to be finalised for the 2015 Championship entry list, it is clear Rosenberg has elected to ‘park’ his REC for 2015.
That has left the way potentially open for former Erebus Motorsport V8 driver Lee Holdsworth to take over the fourth Walkinshaw Racing seat. Holdsworth will drive for Charlie Schwerkolt Racing in 2015, which is currently a customer of Ford squad Prodrive Racing Australia.
Slade has developed a good relationship with Percat this year and is very close to fellow South Australian Rosenberg, who backed his career for many years.
“Nick has proved that he belongs in the category and it’s obviously pretty tough out there financially and I guess he (Rosenberg) couldn’t make ends meet,” said Slade. “It’s unfortunate, but I guess it just shows you that motor racing is an extremely tough game and you need everything working in your favour to keep it rolling on.”
“For me, personally, having a super-close relationship with James Rosenberg in the past and he’s been a massive part of my career, it’s a shame that he has to park his license as well.”
Percat is the second category young gun to look like losing his seat for 2015, with Dick Johnson Racing’s Scott Pye also in doubt.
One DJR REC is possible to underpin Marcos Ambrose in the new DJR Team Penske, while the other appears to have been allocated to Kiwi newcomer, Super Black Racing, which could take Schwerkolt’s place in the Prodrive Racing Australia structure.
CREDIT: V8 Supercars