Walkinshaw Racing has confirmed it will expand to four Holdens for the 2014 V8 Supercars season, allowing regular co-driver Nick Percat to step up to a full-time drive.
The 2011 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 winner with Garth Tander will drive a fourth Commodore run under the James Rosenberg-owned Racing Entitlements Contract, which will move from Erebus Motorsport.
The #47 entry currently driven by Tim Slade joins the existing cars in the Walkinshaw Racing stable – the two Holden Racing Team cars of Garth Tander and James Courtney and the Supercheap Auto Racing Commodore that will be driven by recent-signing Slade.
Percat, who contested three endurance race campaigns with Tander and the Holden Racing Team, will make his debut for the team as a solo driver at the Sydney 500, filling in for the injured Courtney.
"To know that I will finally be on the V8 Supercars main series grid next year is a dream come true, something I've been working towards since I was five years old," says Percat.
"I can't thank James Rosenberg enough for giving me the chance, and all the people at Walkinshaw Racing for having faith in me.
"The opportunity also couldn't come at a better time as the trend at WR is encouraging – the cars are showing great speed, and some very talented, experienced and successful new staff are coming on board next year, who will only add strength to the organisation."
After backing Slade's career in V8s for the past five years, Rosenberg has grasped the chance to support another talented driver's aspirations and another fellow South Australian.
"There's a lot of personal satisfaction in helping young drivers – being part of Tim's career has given me great pleasure and I look forward to more of the same with a talented driver in Nick Percat," says Rosenberg.
"As part of that, I'm extremely happy to partner with such a successful racing organisation as Walkinshaw Racing."
Walkinshaw Racing Chairman Ryan Walkinshaw says the expansion to four cars not only makes commercial sense, it will also improve the team's on-track potential.
"Running a four car model clearly makes more sense for business and gives us a greater opportunity as a group to win races," says Walkinshaw.
"It gives us the ability to create an environment where all four drivers are pushing each other for results.
"James is an extremely successful businessman who is passionate about motorsport, and has a fine reputation for fostering young talent – we look forward to a successful relationship.
"Nick has been a Walkinshaw Racing-supported driver since 2007 and giving him an opportunity in the main game has always been part of our strategy.
"Nick has a tremendous amount of natural talent and I look forward to watching his progress."
Rosenberg's move to Walkinshaw Racing will force Erebus Motorsport to downsize to two entries in 2014 - #4 and #9 for Lee Holdsworth and new recruit Will Davison respectively, leaving Maro Engel's future in V8 Supercars uncertain.