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Apr 22, 2016

MARCO BONANOMI JOINS JAMEC PEM AUDI CUSTOMER RACING

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Marco Bonanomi will join the JAMEC PEM Audi Customer Racing team for the third round of the CAMS Australia GT Championship at Barbagallo on May 6-8.

The Italian sportscar ace, who stood on the podium at the Le Mans 24 Hours with Audi in 2012, will take the wheel alongside Geoff Emery in an Audi R8 LMS prepared by Melbourne Performance Centre.

Bonanomi will step into the car alongside Emery in place of reigning CAMS Australian GT Champion Christopher Mies, whose busy 2016 schedule will see him racing at Brands Hatch in the UK.

“Christopher Mies can’t come because he’s got a clash with the second round of the Blancpain Sprint Series,” explained team boss Troy Russell.

“He’s doing three GT championships this year as well as the International Endurance Series.

“He’s obviously got a busy schedule so was unavailable and we knew there would be a few clashes at the beginning of the year.”

Working closely with Audi Sport Customer Racing in Germany, Russell was able to secure the services of Bonanomi to work alongside Emery.

A factory Audi Sport driver, Bonanomi competed in the Blancpain Sprint Series in an Audi R8 LMS in 2015 as well as forming part of the marque’s World Endurance Championship LMP1 lineup.

With a vast amount of experience in GT and endurance racing, it will be the 31-year-old’s debut in the CAMS Australian GT Championship.

“I’m really excited to race for the first time in Australia, and to have to opportunity to work with the JAMEC PEM Audi Customer Racing team,” Bonanomi said.

“I’ve heard a lot of good things about the team and can’t wait to join them and help their fight for the championship.

“It should be a great challenge!”

Though it will be the first time the team has worked with Bonanomi, Russell believes the Italian will be an asset to the team.

“I think he’ll bring something new to the team,” said Russell.

“Every time we’ve had a factory driver they’ve fitted into the team well and they’ve been fast.

“I don’t think Marco will be any different and we look forward to going racing with him.”

In preparation for the third round of the CAMS Australian GT Championship the Audi Sport Customer Racing tested three cars at the Barbagallo circuit on Wednesday.

Emery was joined on track by championships leaders James Koundouris and Marcus Marshall in the Supabarn Supermarkets entry, along with Greg Taylor and Barton Mawer in the GT Motorsport entry.

It provided the squad with valuable miles on the short Barbagallo circuit, which presents an all-new challenge to teams as the CAMS Australian GT Championship visits the venue for the first time in its history.

“Geoff Emery has probably done the most laps of anyone there,” said Russell.

“He’s done a million laps around there over the years in other categories.

“We’re quietly confident that Geoff will be on the pace and having Marco come and join us can’t be a bad thing.”

The CAMS Australian GT Championship takes to the Barbagallo circuit in Perth for Round 3 of the championship as part of the V8 Supercars Perth SuperSprint event on May 6-8, with two one-hour races across the weekend.

About Marco Bonanomi

A former Italian champion skier, Marco switched his focus to motorsport in 1998, claiming his first championship in 1999.

Progress through the single seater ranks followed and saw Marco competing against Sebastian Vettel, Romain Grosjean and 2015 Le Mans 24 Hour winner Nico Hulkenberg.

In 2011 Marco moved into sportscar racing after joining Audi Sport as a factory driver, finishing third at the 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours in an Audi R18 Ultra.