Triple Eight Race Engineering pair win in the wet at Sandown
Shane van Gisbergen and Prince Jefri Ibrahim have won the shortened opening race for Round 3 of Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS at Sandown.
Heavy rain with 12 minutes of the race remaining led to incidents for the Am Class leading Harrolds Volante Rosso Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Ross Poulakis at Turn 6 and Matt Stoupas in the KFC Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II at Turn 12.
Van Gisbergen had held the lead after the stops following a superb charging drive from co-driver Ibrahim during the opening stint where reigning Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS winner Yasser Shahin spun on the opening lap.
The conditions were treacherous throughout as Shahin was caught out in the conditions, while title contender Liam Talbot kept in clean to be second into the stops.
Shahin lost further time as he pulled up awkwardly placed in his pit bay as Garth Tander engaged in a battle with Fraser Ross for second. Both endured off track excursions, with Tander coming a cropper at Turn 12, while Ross ran wide at Turn 2.
Another to encounter a spin was Am Class leader Garth Walden in the RAM Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3.
In the end the race finished under safety car as van Gisbergen took the win from Tander, Ross ahead of Am winner Poulakis.
Christos Batzios and Sam Brabham won in GT4, as the Invitation Class KTM XBow GT2 of David Crampton and Trent Harrison completed 28 laps to finish a lap down on the leader.
Van Gisbergen will start tomorrow‘s second and final Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS race from pole at 1:35PM AEST, live on Stan Sport.