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Top Bathurst 1000 vacancy filled

One of the final pieces of the Bathurst 1000 puzzle has been solved with Team 18 naming its co-driver for Scott Pye.

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The spot alongside Pye, a two-time Great Race podium finisher, had become one of the last remaining seats after James Golding took a full-time opportunity with PremiAir Racing.

Having initially looked outside of Australia, with Earl Bamber the first driver to be approached for the unexpected vacancy, the Holden squad later focussed on local talent.

Super2 race winner Tyler Everingham was long rumoured to be the front-runner for the seat, the 21-year-old now locked in to the drive.

This will be his second Bathurst 1000 drive after his involvement in the Garry Rogers Motorsport wildcard in 2020.

He will drive the Team 18 car for the first time in the dedicated co-driver session at Sandown this weekend.

“It’s really exciting to team up with Scott Pye and Team 18 for the Bathurst 1000 this year," said Everingham.

“I’m extremely determined to make the most of this opportunity, it’s one of the best seats on the grid at the moment for a co-drive so it was pretty special to get the call up from [team owner] Charlie [Schwerkolt] to join the team for Bathurst.

“The wildcard in 2020 was extremely valuable, that was my first time in the 1000 and to be the main driver in that entry was a great experience. I had Richard Hollway as our engineer that year, so it’s cool to team up with him again and learn from him and Scott over the next couple of months as we prepare for the race.

“Scott has proven to be one of the top drivers at the Mountain over the years, so I’ll be working hard to soak up as much as I can from him to ensure we put ourselves in a good position to be a contender at the end of the race.”

“The co-driver session at Sandown will be extremely valuable to work with Scott and the team to build those relationships and processes so we’re best prepared when we get to Mount Panorama."

Pye welcomed Everingham to the squad for the Great Race.

“It’s really exciting to have Tyler locked in, I’m looking forward to getting to the Mountain and having Tyler locked away now means we can start to really focus and push forward with our preparation into that event," he said.

“Communication is key within a race team and Charlie is a big advocate for that. We had a lot of open and ongoing discussions about who our co-driver was going to be. Once Tyler came up we kept a very close eye on him and he’s been doing a fantastic job in Super2 so it was really a no-brainer to get him locked away and it was a decision I was really happy with.

“It’s really important to support young talent coming through. I was there once and I was given my shot in the main game and grabbed it with both hands and did the best I could in my first endurance event, and I’m excited that we’re giving Tyler that opportunity as well, for him to get his first proper crack at Bathurst with us is a really good opportunity for him.

"He’s young and keen and I think in terms of our sport it’s really good to try and bring in new young talent as well and back what the junior categories are delivering. Tyler’s been doing a fantastic job so I think he’s going to be a great asset to our team.

“Bathurst is coming up fast, we have Sandown in the very short term with a co-drivers session there, so hopefully that practice goes well for him and gets a good feel of the car.

"But Bathurst is a race that you think about all year. Straight line speed is a huge one there, so our preparation has certainly begun and my thought process around has been ongoing for quite some time, so I’m excited to get to the mountain and it can’t come soon enough.”

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