French driver axed for Gold Coast V8 race

French driver Alexandre Premat has been dropped by team boss Garry Rogers for the upcoming V8 Supercars event on the Gold Coast.

Premat has been driving Rogers’ No.33 Commodore all season but will be replaced on the streets of Surfers Paradise by Greg Ritter.

Premat’s first season in the Australian V8 championship has not gone well with the ex-Formula Three driver languishing in 26th place in the season standings.

The 30-year-old was benched from qualifying in last weekend’s Bathurst 1000, with co-driver Jack Perkins taking the reins as the pair eventually claimed a 16th place finish at Mount Panorama.

And while Rogers appears to have lost faith in his overseas recruit, Ritter’s drive is apparently a one-off and the team owner has stated Premat will be back behind the wheel for the following round in Abu Dhabi.

Ritter will now team up with American Ricky Taylor for the Gold Coast 600, which pairs regular drivers with guest international co-drivers.

“It has come out of the blue. I only got the call yesterday, so it was pleasant surprise,” Ritter told motorsports website

The Gold Coast 600 is held from October 19 to 21.

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