Australia. As the hype builds ahead of the 2013 Bathurst 12 Hour, the rumours have been circulating and Maranello Motorsport have today formally confirmed that ex-Formula 1 and current Risi Competizione Ferrari specialist, Mika Salo, will complete their star line-up for the endurance event where last year the team saw great achievement and heartbreak, proving their place as one to watch amongst the strongest field yet seen at the event.
With a career spanning series, manufacturers and the globe, Salo joins the Melbourne-based outfit with highlights already including a successful stint in Formula 1 with Ferrari, dual Le Mans 24 Hour victories, endurance podiums at Spa-Francorchamps and Sebring, FIA GT and American Le Mans Series success with leading Ferrari outfits AF Corsa, Risi Ferrari and Risi Competizione, and experience in GT vehicle developments through Maserati’s MC12 project.
Currently a signed factory Ferrari driver with Risi Competizione in the American Le Mans Series GT2 class in a Ferrari 458 GT3, Salo has valuable experience with the latest in the Prancing Horse’s supercar stable, and is looking forward to joining his Australian-based, international-faced team early next month, explaining,
“I’ve always wanted to race at Bathurst. I’m always being told there’s nowhere like it, and to now be able to look forward to racing there with a strong team and in a Ferrari, is very exciting.
“As a driver there is always more that you can look to achieve and I have enjoyed my racing so far. Joining Maranello Motorsport’s team gives me a good opportunity to go for more achievements, although the first laps at the mountain might still be a little daunting, but I’m sure I will be made comfortable and we will all put in our best effort.
“Allan (Simonsen) and I have been in touch and will fly to Australia together, and the team have already been very supportive and have many things happening to make sure that our (Ferrari) 458 (GT3) impresses again this time out.”
Maranello Motorsport Managing Director Mark Coffey made the confirmation of Salo’s inclusion in the strong team, saying,
“It’s an outstanding opportunity for the team to welcome Mika for the biggest GT endurance event in Australia. To now have two experienced international drivers, along with two impressive Australian drivers, the team will be well positioned to build on the promise shown during last year’s event.
“Mika’s invaluable knowledge of the Ferrari brand and his vast experience with 458 race cars, along with the additional support from Michelotto’s specialist engineers and technical crew, leads us into another exciting season where we believe that Maranello Motorsport has a lot to offer, a lot more yet to prove, and is undoubtedly capable of standing on the podium come February.”