CHARITY CAUSES THE FOCUS OF VALMONT RACING’S 12 HOUR CAMPAIGN

TWO MATES and business partners will fulfil a dream by tackling the 2022 LIQUI MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour this year – and will raise much needed funds for a pair of incredible charities along the way.

That’s the story of Sydney-based racers Marcel Zalloua and Sergio Pires, who will be joined by Porsche Carrera Cup frontrunner Duvashen Padayachee in their Valmont Racing Mercedes AMG GT3 at the event this year.

As well as challenging for victory in the GT3-AM class, the team will raise money for two deserving charities along the journey – with more than $30,000 already confirmed before a lap has even been turned.

Zalloua and Pires co-founded Valmont, a commercial design and construction company, in 2004 and in recent years have spent much of their spare time competing head-to-head on track in Porsche GT3 Cup Cars.

After having their racing program interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, Zalloua and Pires decided to join forces and maximise their on-track efforts by contesting long-distance races both in Australia and around the world.

The pair teamed with Theo Koundouris to score a podium in the Abu Dhabi 6 Hour race earlier this year, while Zalloua also contested the famous Dubai 24 hour.

Pires recently tackled the Bathurst 6 Hour Production Car race – but it will all come together this May as they enter Australia’s International Enduro in a fully-fledged GT3 car.

“Sergio and I decided that post-Covid we were going to maximise our time in the race car by going endurance racing together at any possible opportunity, and that has built to us entering the 12-Hour this year,” Zalloua said.

“Moving on from battling each other on the race track in the Porsche’s was a big call – we had never finished an endurance race together prior to 2022.

“It’s a big jump for both of us seeing as we have had minimal running in a high aero GT3 car, but we can’t wait.”

However, their racing program has been injected with additional meaning this year – the pair focusses on using the platform to raise awareness and finances for charities close to their heart.

The pair will race in the name of two charities at the 12-Hour this year.

The first is the Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation, working in conjunction with members from the City Tattersalls Corporate Concierge.

Valmont Racing’s 12-Hour entry served as a rallying point for the group, who have since gone on to raise more than $30,000 – before the race even begins.

Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation is all in for kids’ health, supporting kids of all ages. From common injuries to rare conditions, funding is directed to the front line of children’s healthcare, paediatric research and services.

The second charity supported by the squad will be Sony Foundation’s ‘You Can Stay’ program, which provides uncapped emergency accommodation for regional youth cancer patients aged 15 – 25, and their families, who are required to travel to major cities for life-saving treatment.

The ‘You Can Stay’ program helps to help ease the financial and emotional burden of having to travel away from home for treatment. Every $100 donated by Valmont will fund one night of accommodation for a patient and their family at a Quest apartment in the city.

As well as raising funds for both charities, the team will raise awareness through both across the 12-Hour event this year, to be televised nationally on the Seven Network and Fox Sports, and via an international live stream.

Branding from both charities will be clear on the distinctive black and yellow livery that adorns their AMG GT3 this year.

“We are hoping that this could be an annual fundraising opportunity, where we can select different charities to support each year, through leaning on our extensive network and our love of the sport,” Zalloua said.

“We’re super grateful that we can go racing at all, let alone race at Bathurst in the 12-hour.

“Using this program to assist others is a great way for us to give something back to those who need it most.”

Tickets remain on sale for the 2022 LIQUI MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour and are available online via Ticketek.

To find out more about the Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation, visit www.schf.org.au

To find out more about the Sony Foundation Australia’s You Can Stay program, visit:  www.sonyfoundation.org