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Webb emerges from the wilderness

JONATHON Webb will make his return to top-tier motorsport in a fortnight’s time.

The controversial former Supercars team owner has barely been sighted since selling Team Sydney 12 months ago.

The buyer was Peter Xiberras, who rebranded the remnants of the squad PremiAir Racing and has built an impressive new operation.

MORE: Audi factory stars announced for Bathurst

Webb is understood to have been in the conversation for a 2022 Repco Bathurst 1000 co-drive with Tickford Racing at one point, although that never came to pass.

Ultimately his run of 16 successive Great Race starts came to an end as he drifted into the wilderness.

However, the 39-year-old is officially back, announced as a driver of the #47 Supabarn/Melbourne Performance Centre Audi R8 LMS for the Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour across February 3-5.

There, he will team up with James and Theo Koundouris plus David Russell.

The #47 Supabarn Audi last year. Pic: Supplied

Russell is on the list of drivers Webb has paired up with in the Bathurst 1000, with Shane van Gisbergen, Scott McLaughlin and John Bowe among others.

Webb famously won the 2016 Great Race for his Tekno Autosports team alongside Will Davison, having already won the Bathurst 12 Hour earlier that same year in a McLaren 650S GT3.

He eventually limped out of the Supercars scene with Team Sydney having been a disaster, James Courtney walking out after one round amid an apparent pay dispute and Fabian Coulthard having little pleasant to say about his 2021 season there.

Ironically, Webb will race against PremiAir at the 12 Hour.

PremiAir has aligned with Schumacher Motorsport and will field an Audi for Frederic Vervisch, James Golding and Brad Schumacher.

“The Bathurst 12 Hour is a fantastic event and we were quick to grab the opportunity when it came by for us to be a part of it,” said PremiAir team principal Matt Cook.

The Fuchs-backed PremiAir/Schumacher Audi. Pic: Supplied

“Not only is it a great event and something new for us to try, you can’t go past the chance for so many more laps not only in general, but especially at Mount Panorama, and it will be great for our team and Jimmy to have that extra track time as we prepare for the 2023 Supercars Championship season start.

“We are also very excited about having Frederic Vervisch join our line-up. Frederic is a very successful racing driver with numerous titles to his name, and plenty of experience at the wheel of these cars.

“Brad is also certainly no slouch when it comes to GT racing, with proven experience in both this event and GT racing in general, including being the winner (2021) and then runner-up (2022) in the GT World Challenge Australia and claiming second at the Bathurst International event with Tim last year.

“We can’t wait to see Frederic, Jimmy, and Brad team up – together, we fully expect that they will be a force to be reckoned with at the Bathurst 12 Hour, and we look forward to seeing them battling for outright honours on February 5.”

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