Team 18 has released James Golding from his 2022 Repco Bathurst 1000 role, paving the way for him to fill the full-time vacancy at PremiAir Racing.
Golding has been linked to the drive that was opened up after Garry Jacobson and PremiAir Racing parted ways after Darwin.
Golding last raced full-time in Supercars for Garry Rogers Motorsport in 2019 before moving into the endurance co-driver role at Team 18 in 2020 and 2021.
Golding looked set to rejoin Team 18 alongside Scott Pye for Bathurst in 2022, though has been allowed to pursue the PremiAir Racing option.
Team 18 also confirmed Michael Caruso will return alongside Mark Winterbottom.
“Team 18 has shelved plans to have James Golding as an endurance co-driver with the team for the upcoming Bathurst 1000,” said a statement from Team 18.
“Golding had been slated to re-join Scott Pye for this year’s Great Race but has elected to pursue another opportunity.
“Team 18 wishes to extend their thanks to Golding for his contribution to the team over the past two years as an endurance co-driver and wish him well on his future endeavours.
“Team 18 will assess its options for a new co-driver to join Scott Pye for the 2022 Bathurst 1000 and will make an announcement in due course.
“Michael Caruso remains with Team 18 for a second Bathurst 1000 tilt and will co-drive with Mark Winterbottom in the #18 IRWIN Racing Team 18 Holden ZB Commodore.
“Team 18 will continue its preparations for this weekend’s NTI Townsville 500, with practice commencing on Friday.”
Team owner Charlie Schwerkolt added: “James has been a great endurance driver for us over the past couple of years, and we thank him for his efforts with our Bathurst 1000 campaigns.
“We have some really exciting options on the table to select a new co-driver for Scott and we look forward to making an announcement as soon as we can.”