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Underbelly Actor Jared Daperis takes his spot on the grid at the Mazda6 Celebrity Challenge

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Underbelly Actor Jared Daperis takes his spot on the grid at the Mazda6 Celebrity Challenge MELBOURNE – Marc 1, 2013: Melbourne Actor Jared Daperis will trade the silver screen for slipstream at the Mazda6 Celebrity Challenge during the 2013 Formula 1Ž Rolex Australian Grand Prix.

As the central character in the sixth series of the Nine Network’s hit Underbelly franchise, Underbelly: Squizzy, Daperis will line up as the sixteenth celebrity driver alongside the likes of former AFL player Chris Tarrant, Channel Ten personality Magdelena Roze and Britain’s greatest ever Olympian Sir Chris Hoy MBE.

The new Underbelly saga, which is set to air soon on Channel Nine, spans the years 1915 to 27 and chronicles the exploits of the notorious Melbourne gangster, Joseph Leslie Theodore "Squizzy" Taylor.

In a special unveiling in Melbourne this week, featuring the All-New Mazda6 alongside a 1923 Vauxhall and 1928 Bugatti, Daperis admitted he may need to get back into his 1920s character in order to reach the front of the pack during the Mazda6 Celebrity Challenge.

“I haven’t had a crash before, so I’m pretty optimistic about my chances. I’m pretty good at a reverse parallel, so maybe I could reverse parallel my way around Albert Park?” Daperis said.

“I think I’ll have to be a bit more moderate with my driving at the start of the week, see what the other competitors are doing and then I might have to channel Squizzy and my inner gangster a little bit to get ahead.”

The Mazda6 Celebrity Challenge features 20 vehicles and will bring together celebrities from all facets of Australian society including sport, music, media, entertainment and television.

Confirmed drivers for the 2013 Mazda6 Celebrity Challenge include:

  • Sir Chris Hoy MBE
  • Matthew Cowdrey OAM
  • Anna Meares OAM
  • Em Rusciano
  • Mark Beretta
  • Rachael Finch
  • Shane Delia
  • Chris Tarrant
  • Ruby Rose
  • Magdelena Roze
  • Jessica Gomes
  • Wayne Cooper
  • Kate Peck
  • Andrew Lehmann
  • Hamish MacDonald
  • Jared Daperis