Frenchman Alexandre Prémat returns to the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship for the enduros, this time with Shell V-Power Racing.
Premat won last year's PIRTEK Enduro Cup alongside Shane van Gisbergen at Triple Eight, but was lured to the Shell Ford squad to reunite with Scott McLaughlin.
Garry Rogers gave Premat his first Supercars opportunity, naming him as a surprise replacement for the departed Lee Holdsworth for the '2012 season. Prémat found himself learning the cars, tracks and everything else associated with V8 Supercar racing.
Rogers went so far as to bench him from the Armor All Gold Coast 600 in October '12 in a bid to fire up his overseas signing and the former A1GP star responded with some stronger performances.
He continued with the team in 2013 alongside Scott McLaughlin, but slipped back to co-driving once Volvo driver Robert Dahlgren joined the team to help with the S60’s development.
Former works Audi Sport driver Premat has an impressive resume in touring cars, open wheelers and sportscars.
He was Formula Renault Champion in France in 2002, runner-up in the 2004 Formula 3 EuroSeries and won the prestigious Macau Grand Prix and F3 Zandvoort Masters in Holland in the same year.
He finished fourth in the 2005 GP2 Series – the feeder category to Formula 1 – and was third in 2006 (as well as being teammates with Lewis Hamilton) before helping France win the A1 Grand Prix of Nations championship over 2005/2006.
Prémat also experienced Formula 1 in 2006, acting as third driver for the Spyker MF1 team at the 2006 Chinese GrandPrix.
Signed to Audi, he competed in the DTM series for four years from 2007 to 2010 (with a best championship result of 10th in 2008) as well as in the German giant’s highly successful sportscar program.
The 2008 Le Mans Series Champion, Prémat finished fourth in that year’s Le Mans 24 Hour with Mike Rockenfeller and Lucas Luhr.
He parted ways with Audi at the end of 2010 after having a massive accident in one of their DTM cars and drove in 2011 for OAK Racing in an Oreca-Nissan LMP2 prototype.