February 5, 2021 | General

Nine GT cars test at Phillip Island ahead of opening round

Nine cars that will contest the opening round of the Fanatic GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS have been seen testing at Phillip Island ahead of the opening round in two weeks time.

A Ferrari, Lamborghini, Camaro and a six-strong contingent of Audis ventured south as teams and drivers prepare for a new era of GT racing.

Melbourne Performance Centre brought six of its Audi R8 LMSs to the grand prix venue, with Yasser Shahin, Victor Zagami, Tony Bates/Chaz Mostert, Vince Tesoriero, Gary Higgon and Matthew Stoupas all enjoying a full day of testing.

Maranello Motorsport were also on hand with its Ferrari 488, driven on the day by Peter Edwards and Adrian Dietz.

M Motorsport and Dean Koutsoumidis shook the cobwebs off the Lamborghini Gallardo R-EX, while Dale Paterson put his Camaro GT3 through its paces.

An expected grid of 20-plus GT3 and GT4 cars are aiming to compete in the first-ever round of the Fanatic GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS, with a number of star drivers and heroic sports cars taking to the 4.4km Island track.

Category manager Ken Collier is buoyed by Phillip Island entrants and general interest in the class.

“Interest in the 2021 Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS has been fantastic,” said Collier. 

“The fact that there is a renewed focus on the amateur drivers who own the cars has seen many cars come back to the circuit competitively. Being able to compete for either the Motorsport Australia GT Championship Am or the separate Motorsport Australia GT Championship Pro / Am has also been well received. 

“Australian motorsport needs to have a strong GT race category and get back to the regular, big fields of five and six years ago. 

“I feel we have an on track package to do this with our Seven Network TV broadcast, the ARG and SRO partnership plus the complete support of Motorsport Australia.” 

The Island event will see 2 x 60 minute races held, with Saturday’s race on 7mate and 7plus, while Sunday’s race will be covered live and free on 7plus.