Driver line-up taking shape for 2020

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 14/11/2019
  • By Stefan Bartholomaeus

The field for next year’s Virgin Australia Supercars Championship is taking shape, ahead of the 2019 season finale.

The driver market has been in full swing in recent months, with movements set to impact almost every team on the grid.

Supercars.com provides a team-by-team rundown of the current state of play.

Shell V-Power Racing

Scott McLaughlin and Fabian Coulthard are both locked in to continue next year, following new deals announced in July.

Coulthard’s future had been uncertain early in the season with Chaz Mostert mooted as a potential replacement, before a string of strong results earned the Kiwi an extension.

McLaughlin meanwhile has made no secret of his desire to eventually head to the United States, but that’s not happening on a full-time basis until at least 2021.

Red Bull Holden Racing Team

Triple Eight will also take a stable line-up into 2020, with Shane van Gisbergen’s deal having been quietly extended – without a public announcement – early in the year.

Seven-time champion Jamie Whincup has meanwhile committed to at least one more season, but has made it clear he’s already planning for retirement.

Whincup has suggested he'll make a decision on whether 2020 is his final full-time season early in the new year.

Tickford Racing

Tickford has been at the centre of the silly season, with star Mostert expected to make a high-profile defection to Walkinshaw Andretti United.

Jack Le Brocq, who has had a horror year at Tekno Autosports after finishing 2018 as the top rookie, is tipped to be his replacement in an otherwise stable line-up.

Cameron Waters’ contract extension was announced ahead of Bathurst, while Will Davison enters the third year of his 23Red Racing deal, and Lee Holdsworth appears to have earned a second season.

Penrite Racing

Betty Klimenko’s Penrite team has been busy with the pen in recent months, inking a stunning 10-year deal with its star David Reynolds.

Anton De Pasquale will also return next season, with the team announcing a new deal for the young gun in July.

While touted as multi-year, the squad has since conceded it could lose the rising star to either Shell V-Power Racing or the Red Bull HRT in 2021.

Walkinshaw Andretti United

WAU is the big mover ahead of 2020, with a complete clean-out spelling the end of James Courtney and Scott Pye’s tenures after nine and three years with the team respectively.

In will come Chaz Mostert, in a big-money coup expected to be announced post-season, while the squad is closing on a decision for its second entry.

Dunlop Super2 champ Bryce Fullwood is the favourite to secure the drive, although fellow young gun Will Brown and Brit Ash Sutton are thought to still be in the frame.

Brad Jones Racing

BJR is expanding to four cars for 2020, adding Jack Smith with a Racing Entitlements Contract purchased by his father Pete.

Nick Percat and Macauley Jones will continue in the #8 and #21 entries respectively, while a decision is yet to be made on the #14 currently driven by Tim Slade.

Matt Stone Racing’s Todd Hazelwood has been touted as a contender, having raced as a co-driver for the squad in 2017, while retaining Slade hasn’t been ruled out.

Matt Stone Racing

There will be big changes at MSR, with Hazelwood confirmed to be leaving the team amid an expansion to two entries.

While no drivers have currently been announced, current Kelly Racing rookie Garry Jacobson has been strongly linked with one entry.

MSR has mooted a driver-share arrangement for its second entry, with youngsters including Zane Goddard and Kurt Kostecki linked to such a deal.

Kelly Racing

Kelly Racing is another with a big shake-up on the cards, parking its Nissan Altimas after seven seasons in favour of Ford Mustangs.

The squad will slim down from four cars to two amid the change, with Rick Kelly and Andre Heimgartner retained, and Jacobson and Simona De Silvestro moved on.

De Silvestro has recently confirmed she won’t be on the grid full-time next season, concentrating on a new factory deal with Porsche, but could return for the enduros.

Garry Rogers Motorsport

After 24 seasons, GRM will depart Supercars at season’s end, casting doubt over the futures of James Golding and Richie Stanaway.

The former is expected to be involved in GRM’s other racing efforts, while both are likely co-drivers with other squads, should they not land full-time deals.

Tekno Autosports

Tekno last month announced big changes to its operation under a plan to relocate from the Gold Coast to Sydney.

James Courtney has signed on as the star driver for the Sydney effort, for which details are yet to be confirmed.

The team announced it will run two cars, although a second Racing Entitlements Contract and driver are yet to be secured.

Team 18

Charlie Schwerkolt’s squad is another growing for 2020, with ex-WAU man Pye joining Mark Winterbottom in a two-car line-up.

Team 18 has already secured its REC and van Gisbergen’s current Triple Eight Commodore for the expansion, which comes after four years running as a single-car operation.

It will mark a return to Triple Eight equipment for Pye, who drove for the squad’s Super2 team in 2012, before spending a single season in customer equipment at Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport.

Kostecki Brothers Racing

KBR ran a wildcard at all three PIRTEK Enduro Cup events this year for cousins Brodie and Jake Kostecki, sacrificing their Super2 seasons for the step up.

The team is currently searching for funding ahead of 2020, either to return as wildcards or, potentially, a full-time season.

Either way, KBR is not expected to return to the Dunlop Super2 Series, for which their recently upgraded ZB Commodore is ineligible.

2020 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship line-up

Driver Team Car
Jamie Whincup Red Bull Holden Racing Team Holden
Shane van Gisbergen Red Bull Holden Racing Team Holden
Fabian Coulthard Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Scott McLaughlin Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Lee Holdsworth* Tickford Racing Ford
Cameron Waters Tickford Racing Ford
Jack Le Brocq* Tickford Racing Ford
Will Davison Tickford Racing Ford
David Reynolds Penrite Racing Holden
Anton De Pasquale Penrite Racing Holden
Chaz Mostert* Walkinshaw Andretti United Holden
TBA Walkinshaw Andretti United Holden
Nick Percat Brad Jones Racing Holden
TBA Brad Jones Racing Holden
Jack Smith Brad Jones Racing Holden
Macauley Jones Brad Jones Racing Holden
Garry Jacobson* Matt Stone Racing Holden
TBA Matt Stone Racing Holden
Rick Kelly Kelly Racing Ford
Andre Heimgartner Kelly Racing Ford
James Courtney Team Sydney Holden
TBA Team Sydney Holden
Mark Winterbottom Team 18 Holden
Scott Pye Team 18 Holden

*expected but yet to be announced

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