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Retired 2003 Champ Car title winner Paul Tracy will make a return to racing next month, sharing a Ford Mustang run by MARC Cars at the Bathurst 12 Hour.
Tracy, who is one of the most successful Indycar drivers of all time with 31 wins, has competed in sportscar, Stadium Super Trucks, Trans-Am and SVRA historic events sporadically since retiring from IndyCar at the end of 2011.
The 50-year-old has now confirmed he will return to the cockpit, replacing the injured Boris Said in the MARC team’s 615bhp invitational class Ford Mustang alongside 2014 Bathurst 1000 winner Paul Morris and team owner Keith Kassulke.
“I’d like to thank Leigh Diffey [NBC Sports motorsport pundit] for recommending me to Paul Morris as the deal came together quite unexpectedly,” said Tracy.
“In fact, I wasn’t planning to race this early in 2019.
“However, this was just too good to pass up – and what a great opportunity to team with ‘The Dude’ [Morris], a legend in Australian sports car racing.
“Morris has won in every class he’s entered at Bathurst and we are expecting to be very competitive and focussed on a class win this year.”
Tracy’s weight has fluctuated since his retirement, but he said he has stepped up his fitness regime since being offered the chance to race at Bathurst.
“Fitness has been top of mind,” he said, “as I have just a few short weeks to prepare, on the heels of working the booth [commentating] at the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona later this month.
“I’m thrilled to be back in the gym with a real purpose and look forward to seeing old friends Down Under. “Bathurst is an early beginning to what I hope will be a busy race schedule in 2019, including a little unfinished business.”