Former V8 Supercar full-timer Tony D’Alberto has been given a surprise call-up with Maranello Motorsport at the Townsville street circuit from July 4-6.
D’Alberto will pair up with touring car legend John Bowe in a Maranello Motorsport-prepared Ferrari 458 Italia in Round 3 of the Australian GT Championship.
The one-off drive for D’Alberto comes due to car owner and regular Peter Edwards being out of the country on business duties.
With Bowe currently second in the title hunt, D’Alberto will be looking to put in a strong performance.
“I love the Townsville street track, so I jumped at the opportunity when Maranello asked me to fill in for Peter (Edwards),” D’Alberto said.
“With the V8 endurance races fast approaching, getting seat time like this is invaluable.
“And it will be awesome to drive alongside John Bowe. I’ve had a lot to do with him over the years, but this will be the first time that we’ve driven a car together.
“He is one of the legends of the sport so I hope we can do a good job together.”
It will be the second time that D’Alberto has driven a Ferrari in the Australian GT Championship.
In the last event at Phillip Island, D’Alberto partnered Tony DeFelice and the pair scored a fourth place finish.
D’Alberto had competed as a full-time V8 Supercars driver since 2008 but stepped away from the championship this year .
He will instead serve as Tim Slade’s co-driver in the #47 Supercheap Auto Commodore VF in the V8 endurances races at Sandown, Bathurst and the Gold Coast in September and October.
D’Alberto plans to use the GT event as a way of keeping up his seat time ahead of the Pirtek Enduro Cup triple crown with Slade.
The Townsville circuit is a favourite of D’Alberto, having finished sixth in his last race at the 2.85km circuit in his V8 Supercar last year.