EMS Race Team will return to Australia for the second-straight year to compete at the Melbourne Ferrari Challenge on March 15-17. Following races at Circuit of the Americas last weekend—and the Bahrain International Circuit to open the season in February—driver James Weiland and the crew from Ferrari San Francisco will now race the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit to raise awareness for PETA Cruelty Free, Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation and Cornerstone of Hope. In Melbourne, Weiland will be racing PARIS the ems+ Ferrari 488 Challenge trimmed in red during a Ferrari Challenge event that will serve as a support race to the Formula One Grand Prix.
The Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit is a street course that loops around Albert Park Lake just south of central Melbourne. In addition to annually hosting the Formula One Grand Prix, the Melbourne track also plays host to the Supercars Championship. The great Ferrari F1 driver Michael Schumacher owns the outright lap record in Melbourne with a mark of 1:24.125 set in 2004. The venue has reported upwards of 300,000 fans in attendance throughout F1 weekend during past years and a tremendous turnout is expected once again. The last time EMS Race Team competed on the world-famous track in Australia during F1 weekend Weiland nearly captured two podiums, finishing P2 and P4 out of 27 drivers.
“We’re excited to be back in Australia,” Weiland said. “Our team had a great experience on and off the track last season and we couldn’t wait to get back. We’re also looking forward to correcting some things that didn’t go our way at COTA last weekend and giving our best effort as a team all weekend long.”
After qualifying P3 for Race 1 at COTA, EMS Race Team finished just off the podium in fourth position before a P9 in Race 2 in the Trofeo Pirelli class. This followed a Ferrari Challenge victory at Bahrain to start the season. That earlier experience is what Weiland and company hope to replicate as they travel around the world to represent three causes that are close to their hearts.
“F1 weekend in Melbourne is a great opportunity to help raise awareness for PETA Cruelty Free, Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation and Cornerstone of Hope,” Weiland added. “The last time we came to Australia we were able to get them up on the podium and hopefully we’ll be able to do that again.”
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is the largest animal rights organization in the world, with more than three million members and supporters. Products proudly displaying the bunny logo are cruelty-free, meaning that they were produced without testing on animals. Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation’s mission is to provide educational support to at risk children through a combination of literacy, personal development and health and fitness programs designed to develop the whole child. Cornerstone of Hope, meanwhile, is dedicated to providing support, education, and hope for the grieving. Each mission is represented on EMS Race Team’s car, PARIS, and will be on display throughout F1 weekend in Melbourne.