The path is clear for Anton De Pasquale to join Dick Johnson Racing after Erebus Motorsport announced his departure from the team.
A fine talent who debuted with the Penrite-backed Holden squad in 2018, De Pasquale has long been touted for a top-line drive.
No official confirmation has come through yet of his home for 2021, but it is now certain that he won’t remain at Erebus for a fourth season.
“It’s really satisfying to look back and see what Anton was able to achieve with us,” said Erebus owner Betty Klimenko.
“We gave him his first drive, before anyone had given him the chance to get in the main game, even as a co-driver.”
Klimenko plucked De Pasquale out of the Dunlop Super2 Series, which he entered after returning home from pursuing an open-wheel career in Europe.
The now 25-year-old finished his rookie season in 20th; he made it onto the podium for the first time in 2019 before establishing himself as the team’s highest-ranked driver this season.
“He came to our team and we all got behind him, and I am extremely proud of what we have been able to achieve together,” Klimenko added.
“Like with many of our past drivers, I will be there cheering when he gets his first podium with his new team and I wish him every success in the future.”
Now a Supercars race winner, De Pasquale had no shortage of kind words to say about Klimenko and her team.
“I really want to thank the entire team for everything over the last three seasons, particularly Betty and Barry [Ryan, CEO],” he said.
“They gave me my shot in Supercars and I can’t thank them enough for taking a risk on me.
“As a team we were able to achieve a lot, I picked up my first win, plenty of podiums and we ticked a lot of boxes which was really cool.
“I’ve learnt a lot in a rapid period of time, and that is due to the team I had around me.
“I was very fortunate to be picked up as a rookie by one of the top competitive teams in the category, and without that I wouldn’t be where I am today or have achieved what I have.”
Will Brown will graduate from Erebus’ junior ranks to race full-time for the team next season.
The identity of his teammate was not reiterated in the team’s announcement this morning – conjecture continues to swirl around David Reynolds’ future despite the Bathurst winner having nine years to run on his contract.