GT Trophy points leader talks about his speedy category debut
Brad Schumacher has been a revelation in this year’s Fanatec GT World Challenge Powered by AWS season, punching above his weight in his older-spec Audi R8 GT3 LMS Ultra.
Competing for the first time in a national category full-time, Bathurst local Schumacher currently leads the GT Trophy standings by 25-points and is delighted to have made the transition from state racing.
“We’re loving the GT World Challenge,” he enthused.
“I’ve have raced and won a couple of state championship so I thought there was one of two options for me split between entering the national Porsche series or GT World Challenge Australia.
“I thought I’d go down the GT route because these are the types of cars that I like and it obviously opens up more options as a driver.”
Mentored by current Supercars driver Tim Slade, Schumacher is himself taken aback by his success this season where challenging Triple Eight Race Engineering, Grove Motorsport and Audi Customer Racing Australia has become a common occurrence.
“I’ve had good people around me, Tim Slade has been driver coaching me, which has helped and I guess you could say it’s slightly surprising the pace we have,” he explained.
“We’re in an older-spec car up in a front-running position around Pro drivers in more up-to-date cars. We’re pretty happy with how it’s going.”
Bathurst success followed a 250km/h crash on Conrod Straight resulting in an all-night repair completed by Schumacher’s team, which he duly rewarded by winning both races in GT Trophy and just failing to score an outright podium.
“Our start to Bathurst wasn’t ideal,” Schumacher explained.
“It’s fortunate that I live at Mount Panorama, so we had access to our workshop and inventory on the Mountain, so that helped with the things we needed to access. Also, Melbourne Performance Centre’s support with its spare parts is second to none.
“The weekend started out well, on that particular lap I was actually on a flyer and it was set to be the fastest lap that I’d driven all weekend.
“It was tough that night and the next day, but it all panned out well.”
The break in between rounds enables Schumacher to focus on his various businesses, while testing and a possible participation at Sandown’s Vic State Series round in July is earmarked as a possible familiarisation session prior to the final Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS event at the same venue.
Beyond, Schumacher is hoping to update to a current specification Audi signalling his commitment to the series.
“We’re setting our foundations with Audi, because we love its support and a current-spec cars is definitely on the cards,” he concluded.
The next round of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Powered by AWS will be held at Sandown on September 17-19.