Alexandre Premat is a French racing driver who competed in different single-seater, sports car and touring car championships since his racing debut in 2000. His most recent success was the victory in the 2016 Pirtek Enduro Cup of the Australian V8 Supercars Championship, together with Shane van Gisbergen. Earlier in a career, Premat was the 2008 Le Mans Series champion, the 2006 A1 Grand Prix champion, the 2004 F3 Macau Grand Prix winner and 2002 French Formula Renault champion.
2002 French Formula Renault champion
Alexandre Premat was born on April 5, 1982, in Juvisy-sur-Orge in northern France. He started racing career with go-karts at the age 10. After spending eight seasons in karting competition, Premat made the first step with bigger cars in the 2000 Formula Renault Campus. He finished second in his debut season.
Two years later, in 2002, Premat became the French Formula Renault champion, beating some of today's world famous drivers like Simon Pagenaud, Patrick Pilet or Nicolas Lapierre.
2004 Macau GP winner and F3 Euro Series runner-up
The next step in Alexandre's career was the Formula 3. He joined ASM team in the 2003 Formula 3 Euro Series. In the first season, he finished seventh in the points. Next year, Premat was among front-runners, winning three races in the F3 Euro Series and two non-championship events – the Macau Grand Prix and Masters of Formula 3 at Zandvoort. In the final Euro Series standings, he finished in the second place, behind his teammate Jamie Green.
Team's title in the 2005 GP2 Series for Premat and Rosberg
Good performances earned him a place in the inaugural 2005 GP2 Series season. He was driving the #10 car for ART Grand Prix team, with Nico Rosberg as a teammate in the #9 car. Premat scored his first GP2 victory in the eighth round at Hungaroring. He added one more win in the next round at Istanbul.
Premat finished fourth in the points. Nico Rosberg was the GP2 champion and the ART Grand Prix grabbed the team's championship title.
Seven wins for the A1 Grand Prix championship title
Between seasons, Premat participated in the inaugural edition of the A1 Grand Prix Series, which started in September 2005 and finished in March 2006. As a member of Team France, together with Nicolas Lapierre, Premat became the first A1 Grand Prix champion. Premat won seven races, Lapierre added six more triumphs.
Another team's title with Lewis Hamilton as a teammate
In 2006, Premat stayed with ART Grand Prix, having the number 1 on his car. Another future world champion became Premat's teammate – Lewis Hamilton. In his second GP2 Series season, Premat scored one victory (Barcelona) and eight podiums to finish third in the championship standings, behind Lewis Hamilton and Nelson Piquet Jr.
During 2006, Premat was signed as test driver for Spyker F1 team. In October, he had only opportunity to drive Formula 1 car in Grand Prix event. He participated in Friday's test of the Chinese Grand Prix with Spyker MF1-Toyota, setting the sixth-fastest time.
Video : Premat's horror crash at Adria Raceway
Four seasons with Audi in the DTM
In 2007, Premat made a significant switch in his career, leaving single-seater competitions and joining Audi in the DTM. He was driving the #17 Audi A4 for Team Phoenix. The season with a massive crash on the opening lap of Hockenheim race. Premat was injured and forced to sit out for the next race at Oschersleben. Later in the season, his best result was 2nd place at Zandvoort and he finished 11th in the points.
Next year, he improved his result, finishing 10th at the end of the year, after scoring one podium, the third place at Bugatti Circuit. In 2009, he dropped to 13th place, with 4th place at Hockenheim's finale as his best result. The season 2010 was his last in a series. He scored one podium (3rd, Valencia), finishing 11th in the points. Premat missed the last race of the 2010 season after a spectacular crash in the penultimate race at Adria Raceway.
2008 Le Mans Series champion with Audi
While driving for Audi in the DTM, Premat also had a successful career in the sports car racing, participating three times at 24 hours of Le Mans and winning the 2008 Le Mans Series title. Premat debuted at Le Mans in June 2007, sharing the #3 Audi R10 TDI with Mike Rockenfeller and Lucas Luhr. They retired after an accident.
The season 2008 became Premat's most successful, as he managed to win Le Mans Series title, scoring four podiums in five races with Audi R10 TDI. His full-time teammate was Mike Rockenfeller. At 2008 Le Mans race, Premat/Rockenfeller/Luhr finished 4th overall. A year later, in his last Le Mans participation with Audi, Premat was sharing R15 TDI with Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas. They finished 17th overall and 13th in LMP1 class.
2011 - a season with OAK Racing and Team Oreca
In 2011, Premat joined Team Oreca Matmut at Le Mans race, driving the #48 Oreca-Nissan LMP2 prototype together with Dominik Kraihamer and David Hallyday. They retired after 200 laps after an accident.
For the rest of the season, Premat joined OAK Racing to participate in four endurance races with their Pescarolo-Judd LMP2 and LMP1 prototypes. Premat's best result was 3rd place at 6 hours of Silverstone, together with Jacques Nicolet and Olivier Pla.
Two V8 Supercars seasons in Australia
In 2012, Premat made another switch in his career, moving to Australia to compete full season in the V8 Supercars Championship with Garry Rogers Motorsport. He was driving the #33 Holden VE Commodore, finishing in the 27th place at the end of the season. At Bathurst 1000, his co-driver was Jack Perkins. They finished in 16th place.
Next season, Premat stayed with Garry Rogers Motorsport, driving the #34 Holden. His partner in endurance races was Greg Ritter. Premat's best result was fourth place in the season-opening race at Adelaide street circuit and he finished 19th in the points.
Monza victory in the Blancpain Endurance Series
After two seasons in the V8 Supercars Championship, Premat lost his full-time seat for the 2014 season, so he had time to participate in three Blancpain Endurance Series races with McLaren MP4-12C GT3 of ART Grand Prix. He was sharing a car with Gregoire Demoustier and Alvaro Parente. Their best result was a victory at 3 hours of Monza.
Only V8 Supercars endurance races since 2014
In 2014, Premat returned to the V8 Supercars Championship only as a co-driver in endurance races, partnering Scott McLaughlin in Garry Rogers Motorsport's #33 Volvo S60. They finished second in the second race of Gold Coast 600 event at Surfers Paradise.
In 2015, Premat was again paired with Scott McLaughlin in the #33 Volvo S60. In four endurance races, their best result was fifth place at Bathurst 1000.
2016 Pirtek Enduro Cup winner, second at Bathurst 1000
In 2016, Premat gained the greatest success in his V8 Supercars career, winning the Pirtek Enduro Cup together with Shane van Gisbergen. They were driving the #97 Holden VF Commodore for Triple Eight Race Engineering.
In four endurance races, they finished in the second place three times, including Bathurst 1000. Their only win was in the first race of Gold Coast 600 event.
In 2016, Premat also debuted at 24 hours of Daytona, joining Scuderia Corsa's crew in the #68 Ferrari 488 GTE. His partners were Alessandro Pier Guidi, Daniel Serra and Memo Rojas. They finished 10th overall and 4th in GTLM class.