Erebus Motorsport and Garry Rogers Motorsport have confirmed their driver pairings for the PIRTEK Enduro Cup.
Both squads announced their line-ups last summer without set pairings, despite both appearing to have logical partnerships.
Erebus has now confirmed that its 2017 Bathurst winning duo David Reynolds and Luke Youlden will not be split, leaving Anton De Pasquale and Will Brown in its second Commodore.
GRM will field its Dunlop Super2 Series front-runner Chris Pither alongside Garth Tander, with Richard Muscat joining James Golding.
Erebus CEO Barry Ryan told Supercars.com his team had considered putting Brown with Reynolds, mainly due to their similar size.
Brown won the 2017 Mike Kable Young Gun Award after a strong rookie Super2 campaign, but has had a patchy second season with an expanded Eggleston Motorsport outfit.
After signing up with Erebus for his first PIRTEK Enduro Cup campaign, the 20-year-old drove Reynolds’ car at the pre-season test in Sydney and in practice at Winton.
“We were open to it, based on how he went last year (in Super2) and obviously the size is a bit better,” Ryan said of putting Brown with Reynolds.
“But every time Luke has been in the car this year, he’s probably been a step ahead of where he was last year, because he’s driven a bit more this year.
“It’s just silly to change it. They won last year, they work well together, Luke just gets in and drives whatever Dave drives, it’s no risk.
“I think Will’s struggled a bit this year and I think he just needs the experience of driving with someone without pressure.
“He’s a good kid and has a lot of ability, we just need to nurture him a little bit to help him get through it.”
At GRM, Pither has excelled on his return to the Super2 Series, currently sitting second in the standings, 136 points down on leader Paul Dumbrell.
He was always expected to be paired with Tander, with the two experienced campaigners making for a formidable partnership.
“It is a good fit,” Tander told Supercars.com of Pither, who finished fourth at Bathurst last year with Erebus, on his eighth start in the Great Race.
“Obviously he’s doing a great job in Super2, we’ve been giving him as many miles in my car as we can within the availability he can do it.
“From a logistical and practical point of view he fits straight into my seat as well. From all of that it’s good, and he’s had good speed this year.
“Being an ex-pole position earner in the main game, we know he’s got speed, so there’s no concern there. It should hopefully be a good combination.”
Muscat is meanwhile preparing for his second enduro campaign and, after two years in Super2 with GRM, is racing in Lamborghini’s Super Trofeo Asia Series this season.
Official confirmation of the Erebus and GRM pairings follows a late change to the line-up at Preston Hire Racing, where Jason Bright has replaced Matthew Brabham.
Brabham’s ousting leaves Brown, Matt Stone Racing’s Bryce Fullwood and the Red Bull Holden Racing Team’s Earl Bamber as the three debutants.
Just one sprint round, the OTR SuperSprint at The Bend on August 24-26, remains before the enduros kick-off with the Sandown 500 from September 14-16.
The 2018 PIRTEK Enduro Cup field
|1||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Jamie Whincup||Paul Dumbrell|
|2||Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing||Scott Pye||Warren Luff|
|5||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Mark Winterbottom||Dean Canto|
|6||Monster Energy Racing||Cameron Waters||David Russell|
|7||Plus Fitness Racing||Andre Heimgartner||Aaren Russell|
|8||Brad Jones Racing||Nick Percat||Macauley Jones|
|9||Erebus Penrite Racing||David Reynolds||Luke Youlden|
|12||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Fabian Coulthard||Tony D’Alberto|
|14||Freightliner Racing||Tim Slade||Ash Walsh|
|15||Castrol Racing||Rick Kelly||Garry Jacobson|
|17||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Scott McLaughlin||Alexandre Prémat|
|18||Preston Hire Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Jason Bright|
|19||Tekno Autosports||Jack Le Brocq||Jonathon Webb|
|21||Team CoolDrive||Tim Blanchard||Dale Wood|
|23||Drive Racing||Michael Caruso||Dean Fiore|
|25||Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing||James Courtney||Jack Perkins|
|33||Wilson Security Racing GRM||Garth Tander||Chris Pither|
|34||Wilson Security Racing GRM||James Golding||Richard Muscat|
|35||Bigmate Racing||Todd Hazelwood||Bryce Fullwood|
|55||Supercheap Auto Racing||Chaz Mostert||James Moffat|
|56||RABBLE.club Racing||Richie Stanaway||Steve Owen|
|78||Team Harvey Norman||Simona De Silvestro||Alex Rullo|
|97||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Shane van Gisbergen||Earl Bamber|
|99||Erebus Motorsport||Anton De Pasquale||Will Brown|
|230||Milwaukee Racing||Will Davison||Alex Davison|
|888||Autobarn Lowndes Racing||Craig Lowndes||Steven Richards|