Pither among final confirmed Pirtek Enduro Cup pairings

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.

Will Brown

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.

Chris Pither

“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

Car #TeamDriverCo-driver
1Red Bull Holden Racing TeamJamie WhincupPaul Dumbrell
2Mobil 1 Boost Mobile RacingScott PyeWarren Luff
5The Bottle-O Racing TeamMark WinterbottomDean Canto
6Monster Energy RacingCameron WatersDavid Russell
7Plus Fitness RacingAndre HeimgartnerAaren Russell
8Brad Jones RacingNick PercatMacauley Jones
9Erebus Penrite RacingDavid ReynoldsLuke Youlden
12Shell V-Power Racing TeamFabian CoulthardTony D’Alberto
14Freightliner RacingTim SladeAsh Walsh
15Castrol RacingRick KellyGarry Jacobson
17Shell V-Power Racing TeamScott McLaughlinAlexandre Prémat
18Preston Hire RacingLee HoldsworthJason Bright
19Tekno AutosportsJack Le BrocqJonathon Webb
21Team CoolDriveTim BlanchardDale Wood
23Drive RacingMichael CarusoDean Fiore
25Mobil 1 Boost Mobile RacingJames CourtneyJack Perkins
33Wilson Security Racing GRMGarth TanderChris Pither
34Wilson Security Racing GRMJames GoldingRichard Muscat
35Bigmate RacingTodd HazelwoodBryce Fullwood
55Supercheap Auto RacingChaz MostertJames Moffat
56RABBLE.club RacingRichie StanawaySteve Owen
78Team Harvey NormanSimona De SilvestroAlex Rullo
97Red Bull Holden Racing TeamShane van GisbergenEarl Bamber
99Erebus MotorsportAnton De PasqualeWill Brown
230Milwaukee RacingWill DavisonAlex Davison
888Autobarn Lowndes RacingCraig LowndesSteven Richards

Pither among final confirmed Pirtek Enduro Cup pairings

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