Official Ferrari world championship team Kessel Racing has signed South African GT racer David Perel to drive a Ferrari 488 GT3 in the AM category of the Blancpain World GT Endurance Championship as part of a three-year deal with the Cape Town driver.
“Kessel Racing Ferrari and David Perel have just signed a contract that sees David becoming an official Kessel Racing Ferrari race driver beginning with the 2016 season,” a team statement confirmed Monday. “The objective of this cooperation is not only to try to win the 2016 Blancpain AM Endurance Championship, but also to build a long-term relationship with Kessel Racing and to assist David to reach his goal of becoming a top professional GT driver.
“Kessel Racing Ferrari was highly impressed by the young South African Driver in his recent first test for the team — David’s approach is very professional and even if he doesn’t have long experience in GT Series he’s very fast and consistent. “We are most excited and confident to have David driving for us this season.”
Perel, who thoroughly impressed in his maiden GT season for Bonaldi Lamborghini in the Italian GT Cup is delighted at this chance. “Its still all pretty surreal,” he admitted. “It’s been ten years of hard work and there have been many bumps and disappointments along the way, but this really makes it all worthwhile – I think I need to pinch myself to believe it!”
Perel will team up with a pair of gentleman drivers in the five-race Endurance series that visits the world’s classic circuits Monza, Silverstone, Paul Ricard, Spa Francorchamps (for the 24-hour race) and the Nurburgring grand prix circuit. David will also take part in the official series pre-season test at Paul Ricard on the French Riviera.
The Blancpain series comprises of two separate Sprint and Endurance series, which races in three classes; Pro, Pro-Am and Am, where David will commence his Kessel Racing Ferrari career. Kessel Racing is an incredibly successful Italian-based Swiss multi-championship winning official Ferrari partner team that works closely with the factory to develop all existing Ferrari GT3’s from 430 to 488, cars which David will also enjoy an active part in testing and developing.
“Because this is my first year in the series I am still a bronze category GT driver,” David explains. “That means despite my quick pace, I am still able to compete in the AM class and that will have a positive affect on my team’s overall pace. “I will be racing with two very capable gentlemen drivers with the simple aim of winning the Blancpain AM Endurance championship.”
Perel also paid tribute to his former Bonaldi Lamborghini Italian GT Cup team. “It is important that I recognise my previous team, which ad also offered me a drive this season and I was really keen to continue with them,” David explained. “But the offer from Ferrari secures my long term future as a racing driver, which is quite special. “Still, I will forever be thankful for what Bonaldi did for my career and I will carry those memories very proudly.”
David Perel’s story is however quite inspirational — following a successful local and international karting career, he had a less than thrilling initial step up to the main circuit in various local series. Ever determined, David concentrated on his online business, which soon became successful enough to finance an attempt at the racing big time, which he prepared himself intensely for in every respect.
When the opportunity came for David to race for Lamborghini in Italy, he took it with both hands, throwing literally everything he had at the effort that saw him and former teammate Mirko Zanardini win most races of all in that series. Now he has a Ferrari contract in pocket — living proof that everything is possible for those prepared to make the effort to go get it…