Anticipation high for Bathurst three-hour GT finale
Leading Pro-Am contender Stephen Grove is already excited by the season-ending Fanatec GT World Challenge powered by AWS Motorsport Australia Endurance Championship event at Bathurst
Alongside co-driver and son Brenton, Grove debuted the new Porsche 911 GT3R on Australian shores earlier this year at Phillip Island with the pair placed fifth in the Pro-Am Class points ahead of the final sprint event at Sandown in September.
Two Australian Endurance Championship three-hour events follow the sprint season, starting at The Bend on October 15-17 and concluding at the Bathurst International on November 26-28.
The final event provides the only opportunity to contest a GT endurance event at the Mountain this year, with Grove excited by the opportunity.
“Endurance racing is quite hard at the moment, so to be able to go and three-hour race at a track like Bathurst is fantastic,” Grove said.
“We certainly can’t wait for it. The GT3R is really designed for long distance racing. When Porsche built those cars, it was more for longer races not so much for sprint racing so the car comes into its own.
“To be able to do a three-hour at that time of the year, which should be good weather is something that we’re really looking forward to.”
Grove expects the addition of refuelling to increase the spectacle to race fans through the enhanced strategy possibilities.
“There will be a lot more strategy, it’ll be really good for the spectator as well because there is a fair bit going on,” he explained.
“So far, we haven’t had to refuel the car in any event that we’ve done. I think the longest race we’ve done in it is about an hour, which is getting close to the maximum amount of time.
“When we bought the car, we had to set-up a completely separate fuel rig, which is fairly advanced for that type of car. It’s been sitting in the shed since we bought the car and we haven’t had an opportunity to use it so we’ll go to event where we’ll assume need to refuel twice adds another element to the race.
“It actually helps you a bit because the extra time to refuel gives you a bit more time for driver changes.”
Grove said Mount Panorama was the perfect venue to close out the Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS season.
“The facilities there are excellent for long distance racing so to go and do a three-hour will be really good,” said Grove.
“The only issue we’re going to have is who does the more time, Brenton or I.”
The next round of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Powered by AWS will be held at Sandown on September 17-19.
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