Am Class leader returns to the track
Following on from a successful round at Phillip Island, Am Class leader Matt Stoupas returned to the track at Winton to become reacquainted with his Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II.
The day proved informative as Stoupas and the Melbourne Performance Centre crew prepare to finish the remaining rounds of the season starting at Queensland Raceway on August 5-7.
“For days like today, you just need to get the cars right,” explained Stoupas.
“There’s a big gap between Rounds 1 and 2 of the sprint season so we need to go testing. The fact is, Winton for me is probably the best car to get right at, as if you get it good there it’s well and truly in the window anywhere else.”
The testing regime will continue until the next round as Stoupas aims to remain match fit.
“We’ll certainly come up here again, I think we have a test at Queensland and there are couple of events we might do in Sydney with the aim of just staying sharp,” Stoupas said.
“It’s funny, you’re fit, but you lose your driving fitness because you haven’t been in a car for a while, so it’s good to be in it. I sort of said to Troy (Russell, co-owner at Melbourne Performance Centre) we need to try to get in it at least every two to three weeks between now and Queensland.”
After contesting last year’s inaugural Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS season as a GT Trophy entry, Stoupas has noticed a raise level of competition this season
“You look at the driver calibre this year and it has some really good competitors in it,” he reflected.
“You’ve got some good names like David Reynolds, Shane van Gisbergen and you look back at it from when I was kid to think how good it is to be side-by-side with these guys.
“I know I’m 1.5s off the Pros, but it’s good to be one of the leading Ams alongside Yasser who I see as my benchmark.
“Qualifying we’re about the same, but Yasser holds an edge in race pace and that’s a mental thing for me, not a speed thing.”