GT Trophy battle to go down to the wire in Adelaide
The Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS will conclude on the streets of Adelaide in what is set to be the biggest event of the season and Launch Racing’s Michael Kokkinos heads in as favourite to secure the GT Trophy Class title.
Kokkinos debuted driving the Launch Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 Ultra at Queensland Raceway where he proved competitive straight away against experienced drivers the likes of Brad Schumacher and Scott Taylor. Fellow GT Trophy competitor Brett Hobson will contest Adelaide, but will form an Am Class line-up.
Schumacher will not contest the GT Trophy Class after upgrading his Audi to the latest specification leaving it a two horse race between Kokkinos and Taylor in his Porsche 911 GT3-R. The gap between the pair is 15-points in favour of Kokkinos, but this will be his first time racing in Adelaide.
Melbourne Performance Centre’s Troy Russell has supported Kokkinos’ entrance to the national scene this year after plying his trade in the Victorian Production Sports Car Championship for two years and believes he can deliver another title to the Audi operation.
“Kokkinos has quietly gone under the radar in the series, methodically working with MPC’s engineers and posting very consistent performances finishing on the podium at each event,” Russell said.
“He’s done the work at both State and GT Trophy levels, he’s calculated, adapts to instructions quickly, mentally strong, fit, and deserves his chance at class victory.”
Back when Kokkinos debuted at Queensland Raceway it was Taylor who denied him class victory, but the Audi driver will be aiming to turn the tables following success at The Bend Motorsport Park, the penultimate stop on the spring calendar.
The final round of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS will be broadcast live and uninterrupted on Kayo Sport.
“Living out a mid-life crisis has never been so much fun,” said Kokkinos.
“Whilst arguably the oldest competitor in the field at 55, I certainly feel like the youngest rookie out there amongst some of Australia’s best drivers. Going ‘toe-to-toe’ with current and former Australian champions is more than enough inspiration I need to be out there.”
“I have no interest in sitting on the fence being a critic. At my age, I simply want to know where I stand against the best and have some fun having a go against these guys, whilst I still have the chance to do so.
“The structure and support made available to me by MPC is so good. Getting on track as an amateur at this level and age is bloody daunting. The guys at MPC have given me a good nudge and built my confidence to compete at the national level that I thought was unachievable only a few months earlier.
“Competing at this level is not possible without support. I’m so lucky to have great relationships and business partners, who have kindly sponsored me. I can’t wait to be out on the Adelaide Street Circuit in December sharing this ultimate experience with them and promoting their brands. No doubt it will be a huge buzz for all of us.”