At just 24, Duncraig's Daniel Ricciardo is on track to become one of the country's highest-earning sports stars after being named as Red Bull's new Formula One racer.
_Next year, Ricciardo will replace fellow Australian Mark Webber, who is expected to make $14 million in his final season with the team, and the former Newman College student is in line for a multimillion-dollar salary. _
The deal confirms months of speculation that he was set to partner reigning triple world champion Sebastian Vettel, and Ricciardo said he was ready for the next step in his career.
"Next year I'll be with a championship-winning team, arguably the best team, and will be expected to deliver," he said. "I'm ready for that. I'm not here to run around in 10th place.
"I want to get the best results for myself and the team."
The announcement is a huge moment for the Ricciardo family, particularly parents Joe and Grace who fostered their son's love of racing from an early age.
The couple are currently in London and Mr Ricciardo said he was thrilled his son would be driving for the same team as Vettel.
"He's had an ambition since he was a kid that he wanted to do this," he said.
After watching his father race at Barbagallo Raceway, Ricciardo learnt to race at the Fastlane Racing Driver School in Neerabup.
Owner Brett Lupton, who has known Ricciardo since he was four years old, recalled him coming to the circuit regularly as a schoolboy and said he was "over the moon" for him.
"It's great to have worked with someone when they are so young and see them do so well," he said. "His dad had the same passion and it's fantastic for the town of Perth and it shows dreams really do come true."
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner hailed Ricciardo as the next big Formula One star. "He's really deserved this graduation on merit," he said. "He's a talented youngster, he's committed, he's got a great attitude."
Ricciardo has been sponsored by Red Bull since 2008 and started driving for the brand's junior team, Toro Rosso, last year.
Perth-based marketing expert Barry Urquhart said Ricciardo was now in the "rarefied atmosphere of elite sports".
"Now that he's a Formula One lead racer and associated with a highly recognised brand like Red Bull, his value in the marketplace has accelerated," he said.
He expected Ricciardo's salary, estimated to be more than $600,000, would jump to several million dollars next year.
Webber, who is switching to sports car racing, was among many to congratulate Ricciardo yesterday, tweeting: "Great stuff Daniel. You deserve it, some special days in the future I'm sure. Australian flag still flying too . . . Little bonus."