The worst kept secret in Supercars has been confirmed, with Chaz Mostert's move to the Walkinshaw Andretti United squad for the 2020 season now official.
Mostert will join WAU from Tickford on a multi-year deal, marking a sensational switch from Ford to Holden.
The 27-year-old is the first of two new signings for WAU to be formally confirmed, an announcement regarding the second seat, expected to go to Super2 champ Bryce Fullwood, expected in the near future.
“I’m super excited to be joining the Walkinshaw Andretti United family, it’s going to be full of new challenges and for me, and at this stage of my career, I’m excited for some change," said Mostert.
“I’ve spent most of my Supercar career on one side of the fence and really enjoyed that, but now I’m excited to jump over to the other side and hopefully build something special.
“I’m looking forward to getting to know the WAU team and their fan base. My fans that have followed me in my journey so far are all incredible and I hope they continue to support me next year and beyond, no matter the car I drive."
The deal has been an open secret in Supercars for much of the season. Motorsport.com first flagged it as a serious possibility back in June, as it became clear a much-touted move to DJR Team Penske was off the table.
But while the WAU move has been considered a forgone conclusion for months, both driver and team have been remarkably tight-lipped. Even as recently as last Sunday evening in Newcastle, when Tickford staff jokingly delivered Mostert to WAU taped to a tyre trolley, Mostert would only say that it must have been "someone that looked like me".
The switch spells the end of a relationship between Mostert and Tickford that goes back to 2011, when the famous Ford squad signed him for its Super2 programme.
Midway through the 2013 season Tickford loaned Mostert to Dick Johnson Racing, which yielded his first race win at Queensland Raceway, before he was recalled to replace Will Davison at Campbellfield for 2014.
Mostert won Tickford a second Bathurst 1000 crown alongside Paul Morris in 2014, and may well have nabbed the 2015 Supercars title over Mark Winterbottom had it not been for a nasty crash during qualifying at Mount Panorama that ruled him out for the remainder of the season.
His Tickford tenure ends with team and driver having secured a total of 12 races wins together.
"Tickford Racing can confirm that Chaz Mostert’s tenure with the team has come to an end," read a statement from the team.
"Over nearly nine seasons, we have had the privilege to develop Chaz from a raw, young talent to one of the sport’s top racing drivers, but believe it is time for team and driver to seek new challenges and opportunities.
"We have shared many fond memories together, perhaps none greater than winning the epic 2014 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, and look forward to competing against him in 2020.
"The show goes on for us at Tickford Racing, and we look forward to introducing an addition to our driver line-up in the near future. After a 2019 season that included 22 podium finishes, we are certainly excited about what lies in store for 2020 and beyond."
Jack Le Brocq will replace Mostert in Tickford's line-up for 2020, joining Cam Waters, Lee Holdsworth and Will Davison.
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Walkinshaw: We can win with Mostert