Audi sweep qualifying as title contender crashes in Adelaide
Liam Talbot and Kelvin van der Linde have swept the poles at the final round of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS, but title aspirant Prince Jefri Ibrahim crashed out in a dramatic qualifying session on the streets of Adelaide.
The Shannons Insurance Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II of Liam Talbot led the way on a 1m 21.417s in an interrupted opening 20-minute segment to edge title leader Yasser Shahin in his The Bend Motorsport Park-backed example by 0.405s.
C Tech Laser’s Tony Bates was third to round out a dominant performance from Audi as Prince Abu Bakar Ibrahim led the Mercedes-AMG charge in fourth for Pro-Am as Mike Bailey rounded out the field in the fan favourite Bentley Continental GT3.
An incident for Prince Jefri Ibrahim under brakes at the final corner ruled it out of the remainder of qualifying after hitting the concrete wall head on.
Continuing his run of hot form, Ross Poulakis finished clear in Am Class driving the Harrolds Volante Rosso Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 from Supabarn Audi driver James Koundouris and Mike Sheargold in the RAM Motorsport entry.
Sergio Pires was fastest in GT Trophy in the Valmont Racing R8 LMS GT3 Ultra from series debutant Matt Belford’s first generation Bentley Continental GT3 as Michael Kokkinos rounded out the top three in the Launch Racing Audi.
For the first time this weekend Mark Griffith held the ascendency in GT4 as the similar Mercedes-AMG of Chris Batzios just trailed.
The sole GTC entry of Tom Sargent was well in the mix of the GT Trophy contenders.
In the second session, Kelvin van der Linde took the wheel from Bates and set a scorching 2m 17.642s to be 0.739s clear of Audi Sport factory teammate Christopher Mies driving with Shahin.
Fraser Ross was third in the Shannons Insurance Audi from Jamie Whincup in the sole remaining Triple Eight Race Engineering Mercedes-AMG and Brett Hobson in the Bentley.
Whincup failed to emerge unscathed from the session after losing the Mercedes-AMG through the Senna Chicane where he contacted the wall. It is expected the entry will take the start of Race 1 this afternoon.
Garth Walden finished as lead in Am Class in the RAM Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 from Poulakis and Marc Cini upholding the Audi honours in the Hallmarc example.
Belford took the honours in GT Trophy from Brad Schumacher’s Valmont Racing Audi and Kokkinos, as Sargent was once again in the middle driving the older gen Porsche 991.2 GT3 Cup Car.
GT4 results reversed as Sam Brabham had the edge from Paul Morris.
The Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS holds its opening race on the streets of Adelaide at 2:05 ACDT.