The scene is set for Will Davison’s emotional return to Dick Johnson Racing.
Official confirmation of the 2021 drivers at the champion team will come before the end of the week.
We know because Erebus Racing has just announced that Anton de Pasquale is leaving the squad, and is clearly destined for Shell V-Power Racing.
He will be Davison’s team mate at DJR under the new leadership of Dr Ryan Story, with Scott McLaughlin set to return as the endurance co-driver for Davison in the #17 Ford Mustang.
The one remaining question is what happens to Fabian Coulthard. He is definitely being dropped as a full-timer, and has been investigating other drivers, but could continue with the Queensland squad as a co-driver for de Pasquale.
Davison’s comeback returns him to the team where he scored his first Supercars victory, at Eastern Creek Raceway in 2008, on a day when he reduced Dick Johnson to tears of joy.
He set the foundations for his success in Supercars at DJR, before moving on to the Holden Racing Team where he scored his first Bathurst win with Garth Tander and then Ford Performance Racing.
More recently he has raced for Erebus, Tekno, 23Red and then starred for Tickford this year at Bathurst in the second-placed Monster Mustang with Cam Waters.
De Pasquale has thanked Erebus and team owner Betty Klimenko for giving him a start in Supercars after he ran out of money on his single-seater aspirations in Europe.
“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,” said de Pasquale.
“I’ve learned a lot in a rapid period of time, and that is due to the team I had around me.”
Klimenko is not surprised by de Pasquale’s move and said she wishes him the best – without naming DJR as his new team.
Team Owner Betty Klimenko is pleased to have seen De Pasquale grow since joining her squad.
“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 said.
“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.”