Rising star Tim Slade will graduate from the Fujitsu V8 development series this season, having inked a deal to fill the seat at Supercheap Auto Racing vacated by team owner Paul Morris.

A winner in the Fujitsu series, Slade will partner veteran, and former V8 Supercar champion, Russell Ingall in the new-look line-up, having seen off a long list of contenders for the seat.

"This is a dream come true, it's what I've been working towards my whole career," the 23-year old said, "It's taken a lot of hard work to get to this point and I couldn't have done it without the ongoing support of my family and people like James Rosenberg of Gawler Farm Machinery and Graham Eastick of DSG @ Home.

"Supercheap Auto Racing was the series' most improved team last year and promises to be even better in 2009, and I couldn't have two better blokes to learn from than Russell and Morris."

Morris admitted that Slade's attitude had been a deciding factor in elevating him above the other contenders.

"Tim's brain is in the right spot - he isn't scared to get his hands dirty and he's more concerned with making his car faster than where his next latte is coming from - he's exactly what we were looking for," the veteran said.

Slade finished seventh overall and took Privateer's Cup honours in last year's Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series, winning round two at Wakefield Park. Prior to embarking on his V8 career path, he won the CIK Junior Intercontinental A Australian karting title, and raced successfully in both F3 and Formula Ford, where he finished as runner-up in 2006.

The Supercheap team is expected to unveil its 2009 livery at a media launch at its Gold Coast headquarters later today [Friday].