Mercedes team gets behind charities for Bathurst 12 Hour

The Valmont Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3. Image: Nick Moss Design

Valmont Racing has been confirmed as the latest entry to this year’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour fielding a Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the GT3-AM class.

Long-time business partners Marcel Zalloua and Sergio Pires, who are based out of Sydney, will be joined by Porsche Carrera Cup Australia racer Duvashen Padayachee in the #55 for the May 13-15 event.

The team is raising money for two charities as part of their dream-fulfilling journey at the Bathurst 12 Hour.

The first is the Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation, working in conjunction with members from the City Tattersalls Corporate Concierge.

Before a wheel has even been turned at Mount Panorama, Valmont Racing has raised more than $30,000 for the group.

The second charity being supported by the team is Sony Foundation’s ‘You Can Stay’ programme, which helps patients who need to travel away from home for treatment.

‘You Can Stay’ provides emergency accommodation for youth cancer patients, and every $100 donated as part of Valmont’s participation in the 12 Hour will fund one night of accommodation for a patient and their family.

“We are hoping that this could be an annual fundraising opportunity, where we can select different charities to support each year, through leaning on our extensive network and our love of the sport,” Zalloua said.

“We’re super grateful that we can go racing at all, let alone race at Bathurst in the 12 Hour.

“Using this programme to assist others is a great way for us to give something back to those who need it most.”

Drivers Zalloua and Pires founded their commercial design and construction company, Valmont, in 2004 and spent the last few years competing in Porsche GT3 Cup Cars.

Following the pandemic, the pair decided to join forces and ramp up their racing commitments by taking part in endurance type events.

So far this year they have scored a podium together in Creventic’s 6 Hours of Abu Dhabi race, while separately, Zalloua competed in the Dubai 24 Hour and Pires recently tackled the Bathurst 6 Hour.

A long-standing dream of the business duo will come to fruition next month as they enter the Bathurst 12 Hour in a current spec GT3 car.

“Sergio and I decided that post-Covid we were going to maximise our time in the race car by going endurance racing together at any possible opportunity, and that has built to us entering the 12 Hour this year,” Zalloua said.

“Moving on from battling each other on the race track in the Porsche’s was a big call – we had never finished an endurance race together prior to 2022.

“It’s a big jump for both of us seeing as we have had minimal running in a high aero GT3 car, but we can’t wait.”

The Valmont Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3. Image: Nick Moss Design

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