Alex Rullo will become the youngest ever Supercars driver this season, the 16-year-old inking a deal with LD Motorsport for the 2017 season.
The West Australian teenager raced for LDM in the second-tier Dunlop Series in 2016, his best results a pair of sixth places at Barbagallo Raceway and Sandown.
He will now make the step up to the main game, becoming the first of LDM’s confirmed race drivers for the 2017 season.
“It’s really great to have Alex stay on with us this year and step up into the main series,” said team owner Lucas Dumbrell.
“He did a really good job last year in the development series and it is evident he has a lot of potential. For a 16-year-old, Alex shows a level of maturity beyond his years and applies this to all areas of racing.
“We look forward to watching Alex continue to grow and develop his skills as a driver throughout the year.
“With the brand new Dunlop tyre compound in 2017, all drivers will have the task of altering their driving style. This will be an advantage to Alex as all drivers will be virgins to the new compound.”
Rullo will face the difficult, and rather unique, challenge of juggling both his full-time Supercars drive and his Year 12 studies.
“Being the youngest driver in the field is going to give me such a great opportunity and enable me to learn as much as possible at a young age, which is something that I am extremely grateful for,” said Rullo.
“I’m honored to be sharing the stage with some of the best drivers in the most competitive Touring Car championship in the world. I have massive respect for all them and look forward to using them as a benchmark.”
The only vacant unconfirmed seat on the grid is now the one alongside Rullo in the LD Motorsport garage.
Rullo’s signing has already provided the first stumbling block for the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport’s brand new Superlicence system, with Rullo being both too young to qualify and also having not amassed enough points over his stint in V8 Touring Cars and the Dunlop Series. He has been granted special dispensation by CAMS to complete the LDM deal.