Porsche squad close margin following breakthrough Perth win
DEFENDING Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS Champion Yasser Shahin and co-driver Garnet Patterson have drawn closer to the top of the championship standings, following a strong performance in Perth at the weekend.
Shahin and Patterson took Porsche’s first ever Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia round win at the weekend thanks a stirring victory in Race 1 and a solid fourth outright in Race 2.
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As well as being Porsche’s first round win, the race one victory was the brands first in GT3 competition on Australian soil since the 2019 Bathurst 12 Hour.
It ensured they pulled 12 valuable points from series leaders Liam Talbot and Max Hofer, despite the Shannons Audi pair winning Race 2 at Wanneroo Raceway to make it victories in three of the four races contested so far this year.
However, their failure to finish in the opening race proved key in allowing the The Bend Motorsport Park / EMA Motorsport Porsche team to claw back a significant margin in the standings.
Talbot and Hofer lead the Shahin / Patterson Porsche by just eight points heading to Phillip Island’s third round of six this year, with Geoff Emery a further five behind in third position.
Emery, a former series champion, and co-driver Chris Mies finished second and third in the two Perth races, respectively, and finished second overall for the weekend in the process.
Prince Jefri Ibrahim (4th) and Prince Abu Bakar Ibrahim and Jamie Whincup (5th) are next in the championship order, however both are set to miss the next round due to a clash with the season opener of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia championship at the Chang International Circuit in Thailand.
Harrolds Racing’s Ross Poulakis climbed to sixth in the championship following the Perth weekend, his first with co-driver Jayden Ojdea sharing the driving duties of his Mercedes-AMG GT3.
In the GT3-Am class, Bathurstian Brad Schumacher’s faultless season continued as he continued his perfect start to 2023 with another pair of race wins.
Schumacher, who races solo, won his class in both Perth races aboard his Fuchs / Kelso Electrical Audi R8 LMS and now leads the KFC Audi pairing of Matt Stoupas and Paul Stokell by 28 points heading to Phillip Island.
Mike Sheargold and Garth Walden sit third in the Am standings, ahead of Ash Samadi and Michael Kokkinos.
Renee Gracie picked up maximum points in the Trophy Class, with that battle likely to build at Phillip Island with the return of several contenders who missed the Perth event.
Round 2 of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS continues at the Shannons SpeedSeries Phillip Island event on May 12-14.
For those who are unable to make the trip to Phillip Island, Stan Sport will provide live and uninterrupted coverage from most of Saturday and Sunday’s action, while 9Gem will also broadcast three hours of Saturday afternoon’s racing.