Tim Slade will join Shell V-Power Racing’s PIRTEK Enduro Cup line-up in 2020 at the expense of Scott McLaughlin's Bathurst-winning co-driver Alex Premat.
The team has dropped the Las Vegas-based Frenchman in favour of the former Brad Jones Racing driver, whose 11-year stint as a full-timer ended last month.
Shell V-Power Racing has also announced Tony D’Alberto will stay on as a co-driver for a fifth year, having teamed with Fabian Coulthard for the last three.
The 2020 pairings have not been confirmed, although an official photo has been distributed with Slade alongside McLaughlin and D’Alberto next to Coulthard.
Team boss Ryan Story paid tribute to Premat’s contribution, which included helping Scott McLaughlin to the 2018 and ’19 Supercars titles, as well as October’s Great Race win.
Premat is now understood to be exploring other options to return in 2020, having been poached from Triple Eight and the end of 2016.
“Firstly, I’d like to thank Alex Premat for his time here at the team and for his contribution over the last three years,” said Story.
“In our sport, sometimes difficult decisions must be made, and this was one of those decisions.
“With his recent history as a full-time driver, we know that Tim will be able to deliver great things in a Shell V-Power Racing Team Mustang.
“And Tony has been a big part of our team for many years, so we are excited to have him for another season.
“With both drivers being based in Australia, we intend to have them compete in all additional driver sessions next year, and attend all of our team test days so they are fully integrated into our program.”
Slade is the latest driver to be snapped up by one of the category’s powerhouses after losing a full-time seat.
“I couldn’t be happier to be joining the Shell V-Power Racing Team for the 2020 season,” said Slade, 34.
“This is the best team in the sport, and I can’t wait to get behind the wheel of one of these Mustangs.
“Driving for names like Penske and Johnson is not something I take lightly, and I’m very much looking forward to working with the team next year.”
D’Alberto added his excitement at continuing with the squad, having spent the last three campaigns with Fabian Coulthard for a best Bathurst result of third in 2017.
“I’ve driven for this team for many years, and they genuinely feel like family now,” said D’Alberto.
“I get on well with everyone, the team works hard, the cars are fast and both Scott and Fabian are great guys to work with.
“Having Sladey join the team is exciting, and I’m looking forward to more Supercars racing next year.”
D’Alberto co-drove with Slade at Walkinshaw Racing in the 2014 and ’15 Enduro Cups, before the former headed to DJRTP and the latter to BJR.