8 November 2021 |

Brad Schumacher upgrades ahead of Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS finale

Bathurst local Brad Schumacher will debut a newer specification Audi R8 GT3 LMS at the final Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS at Mount Panorama as he aims to seal the GT Trophy class title.

A tight battle is expected at the Mountain as just 25-points separate Schumacher and Brett Hobson driving the fan favourite GWR Australia-prepared Nissan GT-R GT3.

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Previously housed within the Melbourne Performance Centre stable and owned by Vince Muriti, Schumacher recently acquired the newer model to replace his 2015-specification R8 GT3 LMS.

Although eligible for GT Trophy, Schumacher and his team will upgrade the new addition ahead of the 2022 season to the latest specification to enter the Am Championship.

“Since early in the year, we’ve floated the idea that we’d be looking to purchase one of the newer generation Audis,” said Schumacher.

“It was just a matter of waiting for the right time or right car to come along.

“Our new R8 suited us perfectly because in its current Evo package it’s still eligible to finish off the season in GT Trophy, then we can simply upgrade it to the current specification and jump into the higher class.”

Schumacher shook down his new R8 GT3 LMS last week at Sydney Motorsport Park and emerged impressed, despite the inclement conditions.

“We tested the new R8 for the first time at Sydney Motorsport Park last week and it wasn’t an ideal day, it absolutely pelted rain all day long,” he said.

“Everything ran great and it was what we expected it to be.

“It’s amazing to see how much difference there is between our older-spec Audi and the newer version. Basically, the only components the same across the two are the wheel nuts.

“It’s a lot to get your head around, Audi Sport has really made the current spec chassis just pure race car and all of its ergonomics are suited to the driver. There are really no creature comforts so to speak, but the overall chassis is very stiff and responsive.”

Next year, Schumacher expects to mount a serious challenge on the Am Championship as Tim Slade will partner him in the endurance rounds.

“It’s not only something we want to do because we’re friends, but also we truly believe that as a team we can be super competitive in the Pro-Am category,” Schumacher said.

“Definitely part of the reason for purchasing this car was 100 percent to have Tim and I pair up together to see where it takes us.

“Tim is one of the best in Australia, if not the world, in a GT car. He is naturally gifted when it comes to jumping into a GT3 car and his track record shows that.”

Schumacher believes more drivers will progress from GT Trophy into the top tier and is excited for the coming years.

“I think moving into the future, the more accomplished drivers that this year have been racing in GT Trophy will begin to step up into the Pro-Am or Am classes,” Schumacher said.

“GT World Challenge Australia is gaining momentum day after day. Its first season under the SRO banner has obviously been a winner and has come back to really a cool, interesting category again now.

“There’s a lot of people who are interested in it and I don’t see that changing moving into the future.”

The next round of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia is at Bathurst on November 30-December 5.