Alexandre Prémat has been benched by team boss Garry Rogers for the Armor All Gold Coast 600.
Long-time Garry Rogers Motorsport endurance race co-driver, Greg Ritter, will replace Prémat in the #33 Fujitsu Racing GRM Commodore, in what Rogers says at this stage is a one-off move.
The decision comes after Prémat’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 co-driver Jack Perkins was preferred to the Frenchman in qualifying at the Mount Panorama circuit. The pair went on to finish the race in 16th place.
Ritter, who paired with Prémat’s team-mate Michael Caruso at Bathurst, will share the #33 car with US Grand-Am racer Ricky Taylor for the Gold Coast 600 event which pairs regular drivers with guest international co-drivers.
Prémat, a former sportscar and DTM driver has had a difficult debut season in V8 Supercars and currently sits 26th in the championship standings.
Rogers says the decision to put an experienced driver into the car was made in an effort to get the #33 Commodore further up the field on the challenging Surfers Paradise street circuit.
“It’s a one off at this point but that is what is happening,” Rogers told BigPond Sport.
“Alex knows about it, so does Greg, the staff and the sponsors.
“The state of play is that Greg has driven there before. It’s a precarious circuit and the fact is I think we need to get the #33 car a little bit closer to the front.
“I think Greg’s experience up there is good and I think for the best result for the team it’s a wise thing to do.
“I could be proven to be totally wrong but I’m laying my cards on the table.”
Rogers went on to say Prémat is disappointed, but that the 30-year old will return for the next race the Yas V8 400 in Abu Dhabi.
“Alex is obviously disappointed, I’d have been sad if he was ecstatic. Clearly he thought he would be driving there and he’s not.
“At this stage he will certainly be back for Abu Dhabi and the rest of the year.”
The Armor All Gold Coast 600 takes place on 19-21 October. A full line-up of the regular and international guest drivers can be seen here.