Rising star Will Brown is set to graduate to the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship full-time with Erebus Motorsport in 2021.
The team has announced a multi-year deal with the 21-year-old, who has co-driven its #99 entry alongside Anton De Pasquale in the last two PIRTEK Enduro Cup campaigns.
Brown had already been confirmed to replace Luke Youlden as David Reynolds’ co-driver next season, and will pair that with a Dunlop Super2 season with Image Racing.
He’s being positioned to take a full-time drive with the squad in 2021, which could either come in a third car or as a replacement for De Pasquale.
While Reynolds recently signed a 10-year deal, the team has admitted it could lose De Pasquale to one of the bigger squads in 2021, with DJR Team Penske a potential suitor.
“Will is a driver that we identified several years ago, and we have provided him ongoing support for the past few seasons,” said Erebus CEO Barry Ryan.
“He has a very clear natural ability in a race car, and we wanted to ensure that his talent is not secured by any other team for several years to come.
“Will can further develop his skills in 2020 with Image Racing and look to secure the Super2 championship before stepping up into the Supercars Championship in 2021."
Ryan added that the team could run a third entry, which it had also weighed up but ultimately opted against for 2020.
“We believe that to move forward we must grow as a business, so entering extra cars in the championship is something we can easily plan for and something we will not shy away from.
“Details of how our structure will look in 2021 will come to life next season, though we are not here to just make up the numbers in whatever we do, and with however many cars we end up running.”
Brown graduated to the Super2 Series in 2017 after winning the Australian Formula 4 and Toyota 86 Racing Series titles the previous year.
Although showing potential, he’s endured a challenging three years with Eggleston Motorsport in the second-tier, finishing ninth in his rookie season, sixth in 2018 and 12th this year.
Moving to Image will enable Brown to drive an Erebus-built car in the series, as he looks to build on a single career race win scored at Barbagallo in May.
“I can’t thank Betty [Klimenko, team owner], Barry and the whole team enough for giving me such a wonderful opportunity,” he said of his new deal.
“It’s awesome because as a young driver you are always trying to plan ahead, worrying about what you’re doing next year.
“I feel lucky knowing that I have the next few years locked down and am so excited to be stepping up to the main game in 2021.”
Brown had been mooted as a candidate for a main game seat in 2020 with the likes of Walkinshaw Andretti United and the new Team Sydney, before opting to stay with Erebus.
WAU is believed to have opted for Super2 Series winner Bryce Fullwood, while details of the Sydney project, including whether it will run a second entry, are yet to be resolved.