Tony Bates and Kelvin van der Linde take victory in Race 2
It was an action-packed Race 2 for the Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS on the streets of Adelaide as Tony Bates notched up win number 14 on the streets of Adelaide alongside Kelvin van der Linde.
Incidents bookended the race, with the last carrying with it class deciding ramifications.
Eager at the start to take the lead after just missing out on victory, van der Linde led into the Senna Chicanes ahead of fellow Audi Sport factory driver Christopher Mies, who was sharing The Bend Motorsport Park R8 LMS GT3 Evo II with title leader Yasser Shahin.
The race was soon neutralised as contact between the Paul Stokell Am Class leading KFC Audi and the GT Trophy Bentley Continental GT3 of Matt Belford at Turn 3 forced the British beast into the outside wall rendering the end of its weekend.
As the race entered into a rhythm, the pit stops were made halfway through the 40-minute encounter, as Bates continued to lead in the C-Tech Laser Audi from Abu Bakar Ibrahim in the sole Triple Eight Race Engineering Mercedes-AMG GT3 he took over from Jamie Whincup.
After dropping back behind a couple of Am Class entries during Fraser Ross’ opening stint, Liam Talbot was on the charge and was now ahead of rival Shahin. More positions needed to be made by Talbot and he acted by overtaking the Triple Eight Race Engineering Mercedes-AMG into Turn 1.
Talbot closed up on Bates during the final two laps, but fell just short as Ibrahim was third from Shahin, while the Mike Bailey and Brett Hobson Bentley Continental GT3 completed the Pro-Am field.
Entering the closing stages, there was more drama to come when the KFC Audi shared by Stokell and Gary Higgon was involved in an incident with the Valmont Racing GT Trophy Audi R8 LMS GT3 Ultra driven by Sergio Pires approaching the final corner.
The Valmont Racing Audi was damaged severely and will take no further part of the weekend, denting Brad Schumacher’s hopes of winning back-to-back GT Trophy class victories.
Launch Racing’s Michael Kokkinos is on target to take GT Trophy after winning the class in Race 2 from Scott Taylor in his Porsche 997 GT3R.
Ross Poulakis continued his perfect weekend in Am Class in the Harrolds Volante Rosso Racing Mercedes-AMG from James and Theo Koundouris in the Supabarn Supermarkets Audi, while RAM Motorsport’s Mike Sheargold and Garth Walden rounded out the podium.
GT4 Class was won by Mark Griffith and Paul Morris in the Daimler Trucks Brisbane Mercedes-AMG GT4 ahead of the similar model shared by Chris Batzios and Sam Brabham.
Tom Sargent was once again among the GT3 specification entries in his Tegra Australia Porsche 991.2 Cup Car.
The Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS will contest its final race of the season tomorrow at 8:40am ACDT.