1 February 2023 |

Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS teams hit Bathurst

Although the LIQUI MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour is not part of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS this year, many regular competitors will take on the Mountain this weekend.

Two-time Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS series winner Yasser Shahin is entered for the event in one seven Audi R8 GT3 LMS Evo IIs entered for the event. Shahin will again link up with Audi Sport ace Christopher Mies as Swiss driver Ricardo Feller.

Finishing runner up to Shahin in last year’s title was Liam Talbot and he will once again take on the Bathurst 12 Hour as well. Talbot will be joined by regular co-driver Fraser Ross and Chaz Mostert as part of the same trio, which scored pole at the 2022 event.

Triple Eight Race Engineering will once again have two entries with the lead Mercedes-AMG GT3 consisting of an all-Pro line-up featuring Shane van Gisbergen, Broc Feeney and factory ace Maxi Goetz. Prince Jefri Ibrahim spearheads the second Boost Mobile-supported Mercedes alongside team boss Jamie Whincup and Richie Stanaway.

Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series winner Tony D’Alberto will contest the race in the Wall Racing-prepared Lamborghini Huracan GT3 as shared by car-owner Adrian Deitz at multiple rounds last year, with Grant Denyer and David Wall complete the driver line-up.

Brad Schumacher just failed to go back-to-back in GT Trophy at the season finale, but will race his current specification Audi for the second time at Bathurst in an alignment with PremiAir Racing, where S5000 frontrunner James Golding and German ace Frederic Vervisch will join him.

Winning the final round at GT Trophy was Scott Taylor in an older Porsche, but he will make the move to a current generation Mercedes-AMG GT3 for the once around the clock enduro with Alex Davison, Craig Lowndes and multiple GT champion Geoff Emery completing the line-up.

The two Koundouris brothers James and Theo were regular frontrunners in the Am Class last year driving the Supabarn Supermarkets Audi. The pair enter the 12 Hour alongside David Russell and Jonathan Webb.

Valmont Racing made its Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS debut last year at The Bend Motorsport Park, but has since updated its Mercedes-AMG GT3 to current specification where it is expected to be part of the Am Class this season. Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series driver Aaron Cameron leads the line-up alongside Sergio Pires, Marcel Zalloua and Duvashen Padayachee.

Another new Mercedes-AMG team was Volante Rosso Motorsport in 2022, finishing the season strongly in Adelaide and on the podium at Bathurst. Racing a team of two GT3s for the first time, Tony Bates joins the team alongside Jordan Love and David Reynolds, while Ross Poulakis is joined by Jonathan Hui, Kevin Tse and Josh Hunt.

Marc Cini made a return to the category at Sandown as he is joined by Dean Fiore and Lee Holdsworth in the familiar Hallmarc Audi.

Following on from representing Team Australia at the FIA Motorsport Games, Grove Racing father-son team Stephen and Brenton will contest the race in their Porsche with Anton De Pasquale as the third driver.

As a sidenote, Melbourne Performance Centre under the guise of Audi Sport Customer Racing Australia will lead the German marque’s attack on the Mountain with two factory entries.

Triple Eight Race Engineering will do likewise for Mercedes-AMG, Wall Racing with Lamborghini, Grove Racing and Manthey EMA Motorsport in the Porsche camp.

Also of interest is the local debut of the BMW M4 GT3.