The top 5 drivers of 2023 so far
THE FANATEC GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS has been spectacular this year with the best field in years doing battle in some of the world’s best Sports Cars.
GT Racing is about the Am in the Pro-Am component so in order to establish our top five drivers of the season so far, we’ve limited ourselves to the non-professionals among the order.
Though that was a difficult task, because there’s been some incredible performances. Max Hofer’s emergence from Austrian Obscurity has been stunning. Chris Mies has been his usual brilliant self while Garnet Patterson has continued to reintroduce himself to local audiences with a series of stunning performances aboard the EMA Porsche. And then there’s Jayden Ojeda. Or Broc Feeney. Or.. and the list goes on.
Still, with that in mind, here’s who our team picked as the five most impressive drivers from the Am ranks in this year’s Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia fight.
5. Brad Schumacher
BATHURSTIAN Brad likes doing things his own way and running his own car against the big squads like MPC, EMA and Triple Eight, but does it well regardless.
He’s always quick, always racey and loves nothing more than getting his elbows out against a Pro driver he’s running with. Has dominated the Am class this year, running solo against two-driver combinations and as such has strung together a ripper season so far.
4. Ross Poulakis
TALK about growth – Ross Poulakis’ evolution as a genuine GT contender in the space of basically twelve months has been meteoric.
Sure, he’s had the help of Jayden Ojeda in the last two rounds – handy to have – but the Am drivers bare the weight of responsibility more often than not in Fanatec GT World Challenge competition and Ross has shown he’s got the shoulders to cope.
Quick and relatively mistake free, Poulakis is going a long way to challenge the very best in the Am driver ranks here.
3. Yasser Shahin
YOU’RE never left wondering with Yasser Shahin, who leaves it all on the table each and every time he gets on track in his bright ‘Grello’ EMA Motorsport Porsche GT3R.
Yasser is arguably the quickest Am driver in the country at the moment and his recent success in the championship is proof.
Penalties at Phillip Island proved costly – agree with them or not – and have hurt his championship position though there’s a lot of racing to go.
Regardless, with Garnet Patterson he’s helped put Porsche back on the local Fanatec GT World Challenge map – and made it appointment viewing along the way.
2. Geoff Emery
IT’S great to have Geoff back in GT3 cars and after a late call up and a relatively quiet start to the campaign, the longer the year has gone on the more the Victorian has reminded us why he’s won so many races in these cars.
As such, it’s no surprise at all to see him second in the championship heading into the second half of the season and it would be of no surprise at all if he ends up winning the whole damn thing, too.
1. Liam Talbot
EVERY now and then you watch Liam Talbot at work and wonder if he’s categorised incorrectly.
He’s not, of course, however his raw speed and utter consistency in racing conditions have made him the standout performer among the Pro-Am drivers running in the championship this year.
Further more, there’s every chance that you’d back him in a fight against several Professional drivers; you’d know he’ll hold them off longer than perhaps anyone else categorised similarly on the grid.
A title contender this year and his second half of the year could be brilliant indeed.