Title a surreal moment for Yasser Shahin
Just five years ago Fanatic GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS winner Yasser Shahin was debuting in local GT racing and fighting future mentor and co-driver Garth Tander for the race win at Phillip Island.
Shahin’s first appearance proved a shock to the established competitors as he finished second to Nathan Morcom in Race 1, before going one better in the second as he held off Tander to secure a maiden race win in a Lamborghini Gallardo R-EX GT3 backed by The Bend Motorsport Park.
These memories have stuck with Shahin, albeit Tander played a crucial part in a dominant season.
“My first ever GT race at Phillip Island in 2016, I was racing Steve McLaughlin and Garth Tander, who was chasing me down at the end,” recalled Shahin.
“I was in the lead and Garth was gaining, gaining, gaining, and maybe if there was a lap or two more he may have caught me, but I just pipped him so I keep on reminding him.
“It’s amazing how the world works.”
Shahin highlighted the strong working relationship the two have, which has led to success this season.
“It’s fantastic because he’s just sensible,” explained Shahin.
“He’s not an 18-year-old coming out of the gates and he knows what it takes to win a championship. I like working with him because he knows that to do well he needs to bring me up with him and he doesn’t have an ego so we just stay focused on the goal.
“We’ve needed to bring our A-game this season.”