Chaz Mostert and Liam Talbot take out the opening GT World Challenge Australia race
The Audi pairing of Chaz Mostert and Liam Talbot have taken victory in the first race of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS season at Phillip Island.
Talbot took the lead early from pole position winner Brett Hobson in the Hobson Motorsport Nissan GT-R GT3 and this was further consolidated when Mostert took the wheel at the start of the pit window.
It wasn’t plain sailing for Mostert as international GT ace Christopher Mies was closing during the final stages in reigning champion Yasser Shahin in another of the new Audi R8 LMS GT3 evo IIs.
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In another close battle, Shane van Gisbergen in the Triple Eight Race Engineering Mercedes-AMG GT3 held off the C-Tech Laser Audi of David Reynolds to complete the podium. The latter received a penalty following a safety car infraction by co-driver Tony Bates.
Hobson led off the start, but an early safety car eradicated his lead as the GT Trophy Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car driven by Eric Constantinidis hit the tyre wall exiting MG Corner.
Prior to this Hobson had lost the lead to Talbot and second to Shahin.
The pit stops occurred early for the frontrunners, though Hobson elected to continue, but fell back through the field to finish second in class behind last year’s winner Brad Hobson in his Audi.
There were some wild incidents including one for Am Class Audi driver Mark Rosser as he went wide entering the front straight and managed to not hit the outside tyre wall and the leaders slicing through lapped traffic also fluctuated the gap.
Garry Higgon and Paul Stokell won the Am Class in their KFC-supported Audi clear of the RAM Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 shared by Mike Sheargold and Garth Waldon. Third was the sister KFC Audi of Matt Stoupas.
In GT Trophy, Vince Muriti in his Mercedes-AMG GT3 followed Schumacher and Hobson to complete the podium.
Sam Brabham and Ross Poulakis won GT4 in their Mercedes-AMG GT4 from Mark Griffith in a similar model and the Ginetta of Madeline Stewart.
Tomorrow’s Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS action continues with the second race at 1:45pm AEDT.
The Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS will be supported by an impressive array of racing categories, including the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series, Turtle Wax Trans Am Series, the S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship and plenty more.
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Anyone wishing to attend the event is reminded tickets will not be available for purchase at the gate. Tickets must be purchased via Eventbrite prior to entry. Purchasing your tickets in advance will save you time at the gate.
All of the action will be broadcast live and on-demand on Stan Sport, with midweek highlights on the Nine Network’s 9GEM channel.