August 15, 2023 | General

Title battle set as four drivers to fight for 2023 championship

THE FANATEC GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS Championship will go down to the wire this November, with four drivers in three cars remaining in title contention.

A dramatic weekend in Queensland, claimed by Geoff Emery and Max Hofer aboard their Jamec Racing Audi R8 LMS, has the title race on a knife’s edge with any result still a possibility at the VAILO Adelaide 500 season finale.
22 points cover first to fourth in the standings, with 50 points up for grabs at the South Australian event.
Liam Talbot leads Geoff Emery by just seven points in the championship battle with the pair of Audi R8 LMS drivers having fought a see-sawing battle all year long.
Talbot’s strong weekend, with able fill-in co driver Garth Tander alongside, included a dramatic race two victory despite a 15-second post race penalty as a result of earlier contact with Prince Abu Ibrahim’s Mercedes at turn six.
Emery and Hofer, meanwhile, claimed victory in the Queensland opener and won the weekend overall to help the experienced Victorian remain firmly in the hunt for his fourth crown aboard an Audi R8.
With Hofer ineligible for championship calculations, the quick Austrian’s job in Adelaide will be to help Emery’s title bid.
15 points further back sit the EMA Motorsport Porsche duo of Yasser Shahin and Garnet Patterson.
The latter’s quest for a third-straight Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia crown – and to be the first to end an Audi title streak that dates back to 2016 – was aided by a fighting second on Saturday in Queensland, though Sundays sixth position finish was a setback aboard a Porsche 911GT3R that continues to prove effective.
The title battle will be between Audi and Porsche in Adelaide with the last remaining Mercedes AMG contender now ruled out.
With 50 points left to play for, Queensland served to eliminate Ross Poulakis and the Harrolds Volante Rosso Motorsport squad from outright title contention, the Victorian driver now 57 points behind in fourth place.
Jayden Ojeda, Poulakis’ co driver in the big Merc, now sits fifth overall while the first Johor Motor Racing / Triple Eight Race Engineering Mercedes-AMG – the #88, driven by Prince Abu Bakar Ibrahim and Jamie Whincup – sits sixth following a strong weekend in Queensland.
Brad Schumacher’s stranglehold on the GT3 AM class remains in tact with the Bathurstian taking a 23-point lead over Matt Stoupas and Paul Stokell into the season finale’.
The Audi pair are the only two in contention for the Am class this year, with Mike Sheargold and Garth Walden now ruled out of title contention, though the Mercedes-AMG pair remain on the podium in third.
Meanwhile, Renee Gracie did enough to claim the GT3 Trophy Class crown at QR, sealing the title with a win on Saturday to become mathematically unbeatable across the then-remaining two races.