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Monaco race-winner joins GT Australia field

ALEX Peroni will race on home soil for the first time when he joins the Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia for the opening round.

The 24-year-old Tasmanian will share Mark Rosser’s Team BRM-run Audi R8 LMS Evo 2 in the two one-hour races at the Shannons SpeedSeries Race Phillip Island event on April 12-14.

“I’m really excited to be racing at Phillip Island,” Peroni said.

“This opportunity kind of came out of the blue. Everyone in Europe needs big money for multiple years and it’s so hard to get into, so we tried our luck in Australia and spoke to a few people.

“We got onto Team BRM and Mark Rosser, but it’s really come out of nowhere. We met at the Grand Prix to finalise things very briefly and now we’re racing next week!”

Peroni graduated from karts to racing cars back in 2015 but did all his racing overseas as climbed the ladder towards Formula 1.

That time included victories on the revered street circuits of Pau and Monaco in Formula Renault Eurocup, the latter win in 2018 coming on the same weekend Daniel Ricciardo claimed the win in the Formula 1 Grand Prix.

Peroni celebrating his Formula Renault Eurocup race win at Monaco in 2018. Pic: Supplied / DPA

He earnt a pair of podium finishes across two seasons in Formula 3 in 2019 and 2020, although his rookie season was curtailed by back injuries from a spectacular crash at Monza.

Peroni switched his sights towards America in 2021 with an Indy Lights campaign, before returning to Europe to pursue sportscar drives.

He had his first taste of GT racing last year in GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup, sharing GetSpeed Performance’s Mercedes-AMG with Florian Scholze and Patrick Assenheimer in the Bronze class.

Peroni tested the Audi recently, with the drive also marking Rosser’s return to the category after racing in S5000.

“It’s crazy, I’ve been circuit racing since 2015 and I’ve never raced in Australia or any tracks, so it’s a whole new challenge for me,” Peroni said.

“It’s good because I get to be home with my family in Tasmania, which is a big plus for me after being on my own on the other side of the world for the last nine years.

“I think Mark’s really excited. He hasn’t raced the Audi for a while and it will be competitive in Pro-Am racing against the likes of Chaz Mostert.

Phillip Island marks Rosser’s return to GT racing after a stint in S5000. Pic: Supplied

“The Audi is really good, it’s got a few handling traits similar to a single-seater and is something I couldn’t do in the previous GT cars I’ve driven.

“I felt good with the team straight away and I knew my engineer Marcus Koch from my days in Formula Renault Eurocup.

“We’ll focus on getting Mark comfortable in the car, which he can then push to the limit and get the most out of.

“For me, I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about it, but the first lap straight out of the box felt great and I can’t wait to race in Australia for the first time.”

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