Premat: DJR Team Penske lure hard to resist

Tom Howard

Wednesday 1st February, 2017 - 4:36pm

Share:

Alex Premat cut his first laps with DJR Team Penske at a Queensland Raceway ride day

Alex Premat says the chance to race for American racing giant Penske was too good an opportunity to turn down following the confirmation of his move to DJR Team Penske.

The American-based Frenchman was officially announced as a co-driver alongside new DJRTP signing Scott McLaughlin this week in a move which had been widely tipped.

Premat joins the American/Australian alliance after an impressive Pirtek Enduro Cup campaign with Triple Eight that saw him help the team win the trophy and Shane van Gisbergen claim a maiden Supercars Championship.

The 34-year-old had an option to stay at Triple Eight which he carefully considered before joining DJRTP in what he describes was a ‘difficult decision’.

Premat joined the DJR Team Penske squad at Queensland Raceway on Tuesday where he drove the Falcon FG X for the first time.

“It was a big call for sure,” Premat told Speedcafe.com.

“I had the two options with Red Bull and DJR Team Penske on the table. I was speaking with them both at the same time.

“I’m very thankful to Roland (Dane) and the Triple Eight team for what they gave me last year. I helped Shane (Van Gisbergen) win the championship and we had some really good success.

“When I was kid I used to watch Penske in IndyCar with my dad so driving for Penske is a dream.

“I felt I had to take the opportunity.

“With the team being based in America like myself it makes that link so I took that decision.

“It is a new challenge. Last year my goal was to win the enduro cup and help Shane to the championship.

“He did it so that was good and I checked all the boxes with Triple Eight so now I want a new challenge.

“I want to help the guys DJR Team Penske. I’m not saying that I want to change everything at DJR Team Penske. I am a good co-driver and I hope I can help the team develop in a good way.

“The target is to bring the team up to fight against the Triple Eight guys who are really good in every department, but someone has to come and beat them.”

Premat says the opportunity to be associated with the Penske brand played a factor in his decision.

Joining the Penske family could also present future racing opportunities with the squad currently running programs in IndyCar and NASCAR.

The former DTM driver currently manages the arrive and drive EXR Racing Series in Las Vegas.

Premat says he is yet to hold discussions with team bosses about any extra curricular activities.

“Penske is one of the biggest racing organisations,” he added.

“It is pretty cool to be part of that family and if we do well with the team I’m sure there will be more rewards.

“We haven’t spoken about anything yet but if there are some opportunities we will speak with them at the right time.

“It is a big organisation so you never know what they are going to do in the next five years.

“Maybe I can do some development work in Xfinity Series cars or whatever, but for now there is no talk.

“You never know what will happen if I can do a good job.

“Being able to say you are Penske driver in America is huge.”

Premat looks set to have a busy program this season populated by sportscar endurance outings in Europe.

He is also due to participate in the new Electric GT series which features battery powered Tesla machinery.

Speedcafe.com has been established to provide a daily motorsport news service to the industry and fans in Australia and internationally.

Read the Speedcafe.com promise
Newsletter

Subscribe to our daily newsletter, the best way to get your news first, fast, and free!