23 July 2021 |

Renewed focus for Tony Bates approaching endurance season

With one sprint round remaining for the Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS, Tony Bates will enter this and the following two endurance rounds in a renewed fashion.

It comes after the Melbourne Performance Centre driver concluded business dealings recently, which has been an added distraction during the opening three rounds of the season.

“It’s been a real juggling act this year,” Bates described his season so far.

“It’ll be a relief now to be able to go racing without the stresses of needing to answer your phone during race weekends and now I can concentrate on the driving, so I’m looking forward to the next round.”

Bates sits fourth in the standings, 19-points behind Triple Eight Race Engineering’s Prince Jefri Ibrahim ahead of Sandown’s finale in September. This leads into the two Australian Endurance Championship events at The Bend and Bathurst.

Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series leader Chaz Mostert shares the Audi, bringing with him long-time engineer Adam De Borre to oversee Bates’ campaign in what is a return to GT racing for the Melbourne-businessman.

Reflecting on his season so far, Bates revealed the effect the situation has had on his results so far this season where he and Mostert have finished a best of third this season on four occasions.

“I’ve performed well below where I feel I normally can and I’ve been told a lot of guys would have taken a season off considering the business transaction to concentrate on that,” Bates said.

“It’s been really difficult to apply myself, to do all the preparation that comes with having a successful season. I’ve felt I’ve performed below par, but at the next round I hope to show to myself I can enjoy my motorsport and I can be competitive again because I probably haven’t really enjoyed so much this year given everything that I’ve had on my plate.”

With the outside distractions dissipated, Bates warned his rivals to watch out for the Bostik Audi R8 GT3 LMS Evo entering the season’s conclusion as co-driver Mostert continues his great form behind the wheel.

“You’ll see some runs start to be scored on the board again, Chaz has been great this year but I just feel I haven’t held up my end of the bargain performance-wise and I think you’ll see a very different results for the rest of the season,” said Bates.

“I’m really excited to go back racing with a clear mind and without the stress of what I’ve been going through this year.

“I can now apply myself again and not have my phone by my side waiting for a call to answer questions.

“I can get back to concentrating on what is a pretty serious hobby.”

Bates is hoping to go testing prior to the final sprint round at Sandown, which is on September 17-19 as part of the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships.