Harrolds squad celebrate success and progress at The Bend
Harrolds Racing has walked away from The Bend Motorsport Park celebrating a winning weekend in the fourth round of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia championship powered by AWS.
In a shortened weekend that ended with the second one-hour race cancelled on account of torrential rain, Ross Poulakis delivered his first overall round victory in the GT3 AM class aboard the Harrolds Racing Mercedes AMG GT3, while Chris Batzios and Sam Brabham pushed hard to finish second in GT4.
Saturday’s one-hour race was a remarkably competitive affair, with Poulakis edging out the Mike Sheargold / Garth Walden Mercedes to claim the AM Class victory.
It was his second race win in as many rounds and, with the second race a non-starter, delivered the Melbourne driver the GT3 AM class round win.
“For us it was a really successful weekend, coming away with the win yesterday for the AM class which was a really big success for us, we’re really happy with that,” he said.
“Disappointed we didn’t get to go out on Sunday, yes, but with Bathurst around corner and it being so wet – and with the professions like Garth and Jamie saying aquaplaning is a risk – its really not worth it.
“Ultimately we’re really happy with the weekend. This is my first time racing here at The Bend and its fantastic: For me this is the best circuit in Australia, so hopefully do a few more races here in the future.”
The GT4 side of the Volante Rosso-run garage saw Chris Batzios and Sam Brabham engaged in a weekend-long battle with the similar Mercedes AMG GT4 driven by Mark Griffith and Sam Brabham.
The pair qualified second in Qualifying one and had topped the second session – scoring pole for the second race which unfortunately did not take place.
Still, a solid second position in the opening race represented a haul of championship points and a continued upward curve for the Harrolds Racing GT4 team.
“I think definitely, we’re on a good learning curve, yesterday was a great learning day, it was only my second GT race so its always, new track, new things to learn,” Batzios said.
“There are lots of positives to take away. It’s a shame we couldn’t get another run today because I think we would have improved, had the weather been like yesterday. But you take the good with the bad.
“I love coming here: I’ve done a couple of tests days and really enjoyed it. The car was great here, good opportunity to show some reasonable pace. Unfortunately the weather gods didn’t shine on us today.”
Brabham said he was pleased with the progress that the team was making as the season developed.
“Overall, I think a really positive weekend,” Brabham said.
“Chris started to get a lot quicker, his last lap was his best lap, which for a lot of drivers is the case. For me It was really good – I qualified on pole and did my job, and the car felt good.
“The Volante Rosso team did a great job. Saturday’s race was interesting. We had a bit of a gap however my teammate almost got hit into turn one when Yasser came across him and he had to stop – we lost a lot of ground.
“But in the race for me, I managed to gain nearly 15-20 seconds on the other pros and I have a lap record to go with it, which is pretty nice.”
The attention of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia paddock shifts to endurance mode, with the next event to include a three-hour endurance race at Mount Panorama, Bathurst, at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst International.
The event will double as the final round of the Australian Endurance Championship for 2022.
CLICK HERE to secure your tickets to the Supercheap Auto Bathurst International.
The race event at the famed Mount Panorama circuit will be covered live and ad-break free on Stan Sport.
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