Garth Tander and Yasser Shahin converted pole into win in the second race of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS at Queensland Raceway. Despite losing the lead at the pitstops, Shahin was unstoppable and quickly regained the lead in the #1 The Bend Motorsport Park Audi R8 LMS GT3 and drove off to victory.
Everyone kept it clean as the lights went green with Garth Tander holding the lead while David Reynolds (#24 C-Tech Laser Audi R8 LMS GT3), Shane van Gisbergen (#888 Triple Eight Race Engineering Mercedes-AMG GT3), Fraser Ross (#20 Gtechniq Audi R8 LMS GT3) and Paul Stokell (#2 KFC Audi R8 LMS GT3) slotted in behind.
10 minutes of calm ended when Brad Schumacher overshot his braking point and tapped the #23 Audi of Matt Stoupas from behind, spinning both men into the gravel causing a safety car interruption. With is second retirement in as many days, Stoupas will be one to quickly want to forget about the weekend.
At the pitstops, Reynolds handed the #24 C-Tech Laser Audi R8 LMS GT3 over to Tony Bates who with a shorter pitstop could jump the #1 Audi of Tander, who had handed over to Yasser Shahin. Likewise, a difference in success penalties also promoted Liam Talbot in the #20 Gtechniq Audi R8 LMS GT3 shared with Fraser Ross ahead of the Shane van Gisbergen and Jefri Ibrahim driven #888 Triple Eight Race Engineering Mercedes-AMG GT3 and into third place.
Bates was unable to match Shahin’s pace – as the time wound down, the The Bend Motorsport Park Audi made a clean pass for the lead with 18 minutes to go.
Going faster than anyone else in the field, Talbot was closing in rapidly. Bates wasn’t just going to roll over, however, forcing Talbot to attempt several overtakes. His rough defending would eventually not be enough to keep Talbot behind. After running slightly wide, Talbot sneaked up the outside and despite some contact resulting in damage to Bates’ Audi, he made it stick going onto the backstraight leaving the damaged Audi in his tracks.
Jefri Ibrahim had watched it all from a distance and with Bates out of the way found himself on the rear of Talbot. In traffic, the #888 Mercedes-AMG pilot made several moves but was ward off.
Out all alone in front, Shahin took the chequered flag 9 seconds ahead of Talbot who in turn was only tenths ahead of Ibrahim. Bates, not on par with the leading Ams who had been lapping times not far off from their Pro driver counterparts, scored a fourth place 43 seconds behind the winner.
Mark Rosser in the #17 Catan Audi R8 LMS GT3 finished fifth earning him the Am class victory, while Scott Taylor won in the GT Trophy with his 997-spec #222 Scott Taylor Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3R.
The next round of the GT World Challenge Austsralia takes places on 16-18 September when the circus visits Sandown Raceway in Melbourne.
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