James Golding has been announced to succeed five-time Bathurst winner Steven Richards as Mark Winterbottom’s co-driver at IRWIN Racing.
The 23-year-old has four PIRTEK Enduro Cup campaigns to his name with Garry Rogers Motorsport but was on the lookout for a drive after the Holden squad’s departure from the category at the end of the season.
Teaming with 2015 champion Winterbottom represents an opportunity to vie for strong endurance results before pushing for a return to the main game full-time in future.
"I am very humbled to be given the opportunity to drive with Frosty at Team 18,” Golding said.
“This was a very tough decision for me to step back from full-time driving, but I feel like it was the best decision for my career to put myself in a good team environment with lots of potential to show my worth at the top level in Australia.
“After a tough season in 2019 with Boost Mobile Racing, I am looking forward to a fresh start working alongside Mark at IRWIN Racing in what I believe will be a strong pairing come the endurance season.”
“That will be a race that I'm really looking forward to,” Golding continued.
“This won't be my only racing for 2020, I will also be staying sharp through driving in other categories so that come the end of the season I am well and truly prepared to make that step back into a full-time seat."
Team 18 owner Charlie Schwerkolt welcomed the Warragul product aboard.
“He's an up and coming Supercar driver who we had an eye on early in the year,” Schwerkolt said of Golding.
“James had a tough season this year and a bit of bad luck, but we are sure he will be a great partner for Frosty in 2020 and they will make a great pairing come the enduro season.”
Team 18 recruit Scott Pye’s 2020 co-driver is set to be announced later this week.