Michael Patrizi pulls pin on chasing endurance drives
Michael Patrizi is resigned to missing the V8 Supercars Championship’s endurance races this season, claiming that he is not prepared to put his body on the line and not be paid in return.
Patrizi said there are no opportunities forthcoming in the long distance classics for him to compete professionally.
The 29-year-old has competed in the Bathurst 1000 each year since 2008, either as a full-time or co-driver.
He had been angling for a factory drive but those chances have evaporated as more international drivers have been targeted for the Sandown 500, Bathurst 1000 and Gold Coast 600 shared driver races.
“James Courtney wanted me to drive with him at HRT but unfortunately there wasn’t an opportunity for that to happen,” Patrizi told Speedcafe.com.
Patrizi insists he is worthy of a factory drive based on his results last season when he drove the #91 Triple Eight-built Commodore for Tekno Autosports following a two-year absence from the class.
“Taking away the five DNFs I had an average finishing position of 12th,” he said of his 2012 campaign.
“Two of those DNFs were with my co-driver in the car, two were engine-related and one was myself not starting a race at Surfers.
“I will not put my body and my career at risk if I’m not paid for it,” he continued.
“If some people think I’m not valid to do that then that is their opinion. I have been paid for the last five years so I don’t see why it should change now.”
Patrizi pointed out that he does not have a problem with drivers paying for a drive. He feels the current situation of how teams source co-drivers highlights the plight of a category where revenue has plunged heavily in recent seasons.
“Race teams cannot find the budget that is required to race V8 Supercars,” he said.
“They are relying on drivers to bring funding to the teams to help them with the shortfall because they cannot find it.
“That’s why I’m not racing because there are no options to put bread and butter on the table.
“There’s plenty of options to drive for nothing and there’s endless options to take money (to a team) but what’s the point?”
Patrizi now feels on reflection that 2012 was a wasted year in his career.
He now competes full-time in the Carrera Cup Australia, sitting seventh in points after three of seven rounds.