Porsche racer Aaron Zerefos has been drafted into a BMW for the Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 hour on the Easter long weekend, 16-17 April.
Zerefos will be piloting the #47 Milk Lab BMW 130i with Kiwi Gary Mennell and NSW Production Touring Car racer John Fitzgerald.
“Gary sent me a text on New Year’s Eve while I was recovering from COVID, asking if I was keen to race,” Zerefos said.
“It wasn’t a hard decision for me to make, I am keen to get back and build some momentum for my racing career and look beyond the 6 Hour.
“It’s the first big race of the year in this country and it’s a relatable race for many Aussies – the cars are from the showroom floor and what people drive to the shops every day. It has an old-school vibe, which I really like.
“The last two years I have been doing some one-off drives in Porsches GT3 Cup cars to stay sharp and fit. It has been challenging to keep racing careers alive for a lot of racers – not just myself – with travel restrictions, but my fans and sponsors have remained loyal and it’s great to be back racing in 2022.
“I’ve been busy with my business commitments this year and the timing is perfect to put the helmet on. I want to thank Milk Lab for coming on board and supporting our campaign.”
Zerefos’ first opportunity to drive the BMW will be in Friday’s practice sessions at Bathurst, but despite not being able to test the BMW beforehand, he is confident of quickly reaching a competitive pace.
“The BMW has a lot of new running gear including a fresh transmission and diff, and the motor is strong; the team have been working around the clock to make sure it’s ready for practice on the Friday,” the Bathurst 12 Hour podium finisher said.
“At the end of the day, I am racer and will do what I can with the equipment I have to find the limit.
“Bathurst can bite you pretty hard but I am going into the race feeling optimistic and relaxed. I’m used to turning up with my helmet and working with a new team with not much testing, I’ve done that my whole career so it doesn’t bother me,” said the 38 year old.
Zerefos also hinted at some other racing on the agenda for 2022.
“There are some deals on table for the Bathurst 12 Hour with a leading Porsche team and some single seater opportunities in America including F4 at the Miami Grand Prix in May – the phone has been ringing,” he said.
“I hope to put a good show on Easter weekend and do a good job for my team and the car owner.
“I have been competing for nearly 20 years now, the sport has been good to me. I have done some cool stuff, it’s taken me all over the world including a V8 Supercars test and a NASCAR test at Las Vegas, it’s been a good journey from humble beginnings in a paddock.
Zerefos hits the track for all-important practice on Friday before the main event starts at 11am on Easter Sunday.