11 May 2021 |

Dylan O’Keeffe content with return to GT racing at The Bend

Dylan O’Keeffe says he enjoyed the thrill of returning to the driver’s seat of a GT3 car, after recording a pair of top five finishes alongside Tony Bates aboard the Bostik Australia Audi R8 in Round 3 of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Powered by AWS at The Bend Motorsport Park on the weekend.

O’Keeffe and Bates overcame variable weather conditions to finish second in the Pro-Am class (third outright) in Race 1.

After taking over the car from Bates at the 20-minute mark, O’Keeffe ran as high as second, and brought the car home in third despite battling with badly-worn wet tyres, and also a small spin later in the race after contact with Audi team-mate Garth Tander.

“Tony started the race on wet tyres, but the track dried very quickly and by the time Tony handed the car over to me, the wets were just about finished,” O’Keeffe said.

“When it started raining again, there wasn’t a lot of tread left on the tyres to channel the water away, but I was still able to maintain decent lap times.

“I pressed on but Garth Tander was on fresher tyres and he passed me at turn one with a few laps to go. I tried to pass him back into turn three, but he squeezed me up onto the wet kerb and I spun. Thankfully, there was no damage and I was able to continue without losing any more places.”

After starting on the front row of the grid in Race 2, a slow start saw O’Keeffe fall to fifth. Late in his stint, he recovered one of the lost positions and handed the car over to Bates in fourth, but a penalty for a pit stop infringement dropped the car to fifth at the chequered flag.

“For some reason, the car bogged down at the rolling start and a few other cars out-accelerated me into turn one,” O’Keeffe said.

“After that, my pace was good but our advantage was through the corners rather than on the straights, which made it very hard to get close enough to be able to overtake.

“Overall, it was a solid weekend and I thoroughly enjoyed racing a GT car again – a big thank you to Tony and the Bostik team for the opportunity,” O’Keeffe concluded.

The next round of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Powered by AWS will be held at Sandown on September 17-19.