Alexandre Premat has teamed up with Eric Bachelart for a new venture, with Quest Racing set to field up to two Mercedes-AMG GT4s in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge this year.
The ex-GP2 ace and Audi factory driver, who has spent recent years in Virgin Australia Supercars, has entered into a partnership with the former Conquest Racing team owner that will see Bachelart make his return to IMSA competition.
“I’ve known Eric for a long time,” Premat told Endurance-Info. “I ran a test with his team in IndyCar alongside Guillaume Moreau.
“We stayed in touch and it is time to start our own team. Eric knows IMSA and American motorsports.”
Conquest fielded a Morgan LMP2 car in the American Le Mans Series in 2012, with Bachelart having also served as the Managing Director of now-three-time GT Daytona class champions, Scuderia Corsa.
The Belgian, a longtime veteran of U.S. open-wheel racing, has most recently been involved in the operation of a Ferrari Challenge team.
Premat, a Gold-rated driver by the FIA, will share driving duties of one Mercedes GT4 with Mark Ramsey, a graduate from the Las Vegas-based Exotics Racing driving school and series, which the Frenchman manages.
A second car, meanwhile, could debut by as early as the second round of the season at Sebring in March.
“Discussions are underway with various customers,” Premat said. “The second Mercedes could play a partial program in 2018 with the Intercontinental GT Challenge at Laguna Seca and Suzuka, the COTA 24H and why not the Bathurst 12 Hour in 2019.”
The team is not expected to be present at this weekend’s pre-season test at Daytona, as it awaits delivery of its first Mercedes GT4 car.
In addition to his activities in North America, Premat will continue as an endurance driver for DJR Team Penske in Supercars.
“By launching this team with Eric, I’m preparing for my [transition away from driving], a bit like Sebastien Philippe and Philippe Dumas,” he said.
“This is a very exciting role in which I take great pleasure. To accompany gentlemen [drivers] and advance [their skills] is something very motivating and rewarding.”
Laurent Mercier contributed to this report