Jonathon Webb will make a surprise Supercars driving comeback, signing on as Tim Slade’s endurance co-driver at PremiAir Racing.
The 2016 Bathurst winner will team with Slade at the Penrite Oil Sandown 500 and Repco Bathurst 1000 for what will be his first race since 2021.
Webb sold his Tekno Autosports/Team Sydney team to Peter Xiberras to create what is now PremiAir Racing in 2022.
Open-wheel racer Joey Mawson looked set to land the endurance drive at PremiAir Racing, but uncertainty over his Superlicence saw the team sign Webb instead.
“I was thankful for the opportunity to drive a PremiAir Supercar with the Nulon Racing team at their Queensland Raceway test day in June,” said Webb.
“When the opportunity presented to join Tim for the enduros, I jumped at the chance. It’s an honour, and I look forward to contributing my best efforts to assist Tim and the team with their championship.
“I have full confidence in Tim and the Team’s ability for success at both Sandown and Bathurst. I’m sincerely grateful that Peter Xiberras and Tim Slade have granted me this opportunity.”
Slade added: “I’m looking forward to pairing up with Jono for this year’s enduros.
“Jono obviously has a wealth of experience in Supercars and has won races both as a solo driver and co driver.
“He did his first laps in a Gen3 car at our last test day and felt pretty comfortable straight up which was good, plus he’ll get the opportunity to get further acquainted with the car at our Sydney ride day and pre enduro test day.”
“I think it’s great we have gone back to the traditional endurance race format with the return of the Sandown 500, it makes for a great precursor to Bathurst and I’m sure eases the nerves a little for co drivers before the Great Race.”
Xiberras clarified the position of the team following the speculation around Mawson.
“Obviously it has been widely reported that we were looking to give Joey Mawson a drive with Tim to give some young and upcoming talent a go,” said Xiberras.
“We hung out as long as we possibly could to try and make that happen. Unfortunately, the bid for Mawson to be approved for a Superlicence for the events has not progressed.
“So we had to make a decision and we decided to do all that we could to give Tim the best possible chance to recover some points after a difficult start to the season by partnering him with an experienced co-driver.
“Jono showed a lot of speed in his time at the wheel during our QR test day and he has proven, race-winning experience as both a co-driver and a solo driver.
“We are confident he will be the perfect co-driver for Tim at Sandown and Bathurst this year and we are looking forward to seeing what they can achieve together at these prestigious events.”