The GT racing championship is set for major change as Perth based Arise Racing brings Ferrari factory backing to the category for the very first time in Australia as it unveils its new team for the 2024 Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia (GTWCA).

    Backed by Perth billionaire Laurence Escalante (Virtual Gaming World’s founder and CEO), the Arise Racing GT team will race two Ferrari 296 GT3 cars with drivers set to be announced next month.

    Given Escalante’s association with Ferrari extends to being one of the brand’s best customers locally and all the way to the top, with his sponsorship of the Ferrari Formula 1 team (via VGW,) the factory backing for the GT3 category is a deeper relationship that extends to more than just race cars, with the team set to become the exclusive distributor of Ferrari GT parts in Australia as well as facilitating the sale of Ferrari GT race cars to Australian customers.

    Arise Racing already races in numerous other categories but its expansion into GT3 will be the first for the group and first entry from Western Australia.

    “We couldn’t be more excited,” said Jordan Oon, Arise Racing GT’s team principal. “The GTWCA is a growing championship with a lot of upside in Australia, and to compete in the Ferrari 296 GT3 with a backer like LEE gives us a great platform to perform and hopefully Arise Racing delivers some strong results in 2024.”

    Mr Escalante added: “having admired GT racing from afar, it’s a real thrill and unique opportunity to be launching a new team out of my home base of Perth racing Ferraris. Just like in business, motor racing – and all elite sports for that matter – is highly competitive, performance driven and requires teamwork, which is a super exciting challenge to be a part of with this team. I can’t wait to see what the team and our partners can achieve.”

    Ferrari Australia boss, Jan Hendrik Voss, also voiced his support for the team’s entry to CarExpert, as the brand seeks to further expand its motorsport activities in Australia.

    “We’re very excited to have the first Ferrari 296 GT3 cars arriving in Australia. This new partnership is an important one for us, and we’re looking forward to the start of the campaign here in Australia.”

    The GT racing championship which will air on 7 Plus in 2024, is a Pro-am competition featuring high- performance sports cars from leading luxury manufacturers such as Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche.

    The category is managed by SRO Motorsports Group and is one of just four official GT World Challenges globally alongside Europe, America and Asia. Brands competing in Australia score points towards the global GTWC manufacturers’ championship.

    Seven West Media (owner of 7Plus) and Laurence Escalante are investors in

    Alborz Fallah

    Alborz is the founder of CarAdvice (sold to Nine and now Drive) and co-founder of CarExpert. He is an honourary adjunct professor & entrepreneur in residence at the University of QLD. He loves naturally-aspirated V8s, V10s and V12s and is in denial about the impending death of the internal combustion engine.

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