GROVE Racing has pulled off the first major signing of Supercars’ hidden silly season, securing the services of title-winning engineer Grant McPherson.
V8 Sleuth can reveal McPherson will next year join forces with former Triple Eight Race Engineering colleague David Cauchi, who is nowadays team principal at Grove Racing.
It’s understood McPherson will see out the 2022 season with Walkinshaw Andretti United, who will not enforce any form of gardening leave.
He is expected to be announced in a technical director type of role at Grove Racing, which continues to build nicely for the Gen3 era starting next year.
The respected figure known as “Shippy” brings considerable credibility to the growing Grove organisation, having spent eight years at Ford Performance Racing, six at Triple Eight, and now two seasons with WAU.
McPherson was Shane van Gisbergen’s race engineer when they combined for the 2016 championship.
He joined WAU last year as head of performance, but has ended up back in a race engineering role on Nick Percat’s Car #2 following Geoffrey Slater’s sudden departure in June.
It is not yet clear whether WAU will launch an external recruitment drive to fill the void McPherson will leave.
The team is not short on engineering expertise as it is, with Carl Faux, Adam De Borre and Rob Starr among those in its ranks.
Grove Racing meanwhile has Alistair McVean and Will Davidson currently operating as its race engineers; McVean being the long-time right-hand man of David Reynolds, who is expected to stay on next season.
Cauchi is another proven guru in the Braeside camp, having guided both van Gisbergen and Jamie Whincup to title glory.
The McPherson revelation follows significant behind-the-scenes movement up and down pit lane last off-season.
Besides Cauchi joining the Groves, Triple Eight signed Brad Jones Racing stalwart Andrew Edwards; WAU picked up Slater; Phil Keed reunited with BJR; and Matt Stone Racing lured Pete Vale to be its team principal.
It’s anticipated Grove Racing will opt for a mix of youth and experience behind the wheel next year in the form of a Reynolds/Matt Payne line-up.