November 20, 2023 | General

Heavy hitters added to GTWC title fight in Adelaide

A THREE way fight for the Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS Championship will see the title contenders each bring heavy-hitters to the title battle this weekend. 

Liam Talbot (Audi), Geoff Emery (Audi) and Yasser Shahin (Porsche) will each have world-class drivers alongside them as they battle for the championship across three races at the VAILO Adelaide 500.

Championship leader Talbot will be joined by two-time Bathurst 12-hour winner and 2015 GT World Challenge Australia champion Chris Mies as he looks to defend his narrow, 7-point lead.

Adelaide will mark Mies’ second round for the year, having driven with Geoff Emery at Wanneroo Raceway in Perth earlier this year.

The experienced German has Adelaide form, too – having combined with Yasser Shahin to win two of the three races at the event last year.

Talbot’s closest rival Geoff Emery will look for a record fourth GTWC Australia title, having already claimed the championship in 2017, 18 and 2019.

No driver in the history of the Australian GT Championship has ever won four titles, Emery to be joined by the rapid Max Hofer in his title chase.

Hofer has won five races this year, three with Talbot and then two with Emery when he switched to the Jamec Racing Audi mid-season.

Meanwhile, Yasser Shahin will be teamed with factory Porsche Penske Motorsport ace Matt Campbell aboard his EMA Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3R in his bid to equal Emery and claim a third-straight title.

Shahin sits 22 points from the series lead as he looks to give Porsche their first domestic GT title since Klark Quinn won in 2013.

Shahin claimed two of the three races in Adelaide last year before switching to Porsche for this season, winning two races so far.

The Pro-Am class will be completed by the Harrolds Racing / Volante Rosso Mercedes-AMG of Chris Batzios and Jayden Ojeda, and the similar AMG GT3 driven by Mike Bailey and Brett Hobson.

The AM Class will see intense competition with as Matt Stoupas and Paul Stokell (KFC Audi) look to chase runaway class leader Brad Schumacher’s Fuchs / Schumacher Motorsport Audi.

Mike Sheargold will again have Garth Walden in the codrivers seat, while Canberra brothers James and Theo Koundouris will join forces in their Supabarn Supermarkets Audi.

Marc Cini returns to the championship aboard his Hallmarc Racing Audi R8 LMS, while Renee Gracie steps up into a current-specification Audi R8 for the first time, having claimed the Trophy Class title at the most recent round of the series in Queensland.

The GT3 Trophy Class will see Paul Lucchitti’s Audi take on a pair of young guns in Porsche GT3 Cup Cars, Sprint Challenge rising stars Tom McLennan and Marcos Flack to join the field this weekend.

The Invitational Class will see four MARC Cars entries; the GTs of local hero John Goodacre and Adam Hargraves, and the Mustang-bodied cars of Darren Currie / Geoff Taunton and Axle Donaldson.

A busy on-track schedule at the VAILO Adelaide 500 will see the Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS Cars hit the track Thursday for a pair of practice sessions.

That will be followed by the two qualifying sessions on Friday morning, with Race 2 later that afternoon.

The second and third races will be held on Saturday and Sunday morning, respectively, with all three races live on Fox Sports and Kayo this weekend.

ENTRY LIST – Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS

1 Pro/Am EMA Motorsport/The Bend Motorsport Park Yasser Shahin Matt Campbell Porsche 911 GT3R (991.2)
4 Invitational MRA Roofing and Construction Darren Currie Geoff Taunton MARC II Mustang
6 Invitational Gap Solutions/Ult100 Oils John Goodacre MARC GT
9 AM Hallmarc Marc Cini Audi R8 LMS Evo 2
20 Invitational T2 Racing Adam Hargraves MARC GT
23 AM KFC Matt Stoupas Paul Stokell Audi R8 LMS Evo 2
34 Pro/Am Harrolds Racing/Volante Rosso Motorsport Christos Batzios Jayden Ojeda Mercedes AMG GT3
45 AM RAM Motorsport/GWR Australia Michael Sheargold Garth Walden Mercedes AMG GT3
47 AM Supabarn Supermarket/Tigani Motorsport James Koundouris Theo Koundouris Mercedes AMG GT3
55 AM Schumacher Motorsport/Kelso Electrical Brad Schumacher Audi R8 LMS Evo 2
65 Pro/Am Shannons Liam Talbot Christopher Mies Audi R8 LMS Evo 2
66 GT3 Trophy Realta/Tigani Motorsport Paul Lucchitti Audi R8 LMS Ultra
75 Pro/Am Jamec Racing Geoff Emery Maximilian Hofer Audi R8 LMS Evo 2
78 GT3 Trophy Sonic/Rosche Paper/Supa Straws Marcos Flack Porsche 991.2 Cup
81 GT3 Trophy McLennan Motorsport/EBM Tom McLennan Porsche 991.2 Cup
96 Pro/Am Hobson Motorsport Mike Bailey Brett Hobson Mercedes AMG GT3
111 Invitational Hitachi Construction Machinery/Axles Earthmoving Axle Donaldson MARC II Mustang
181 AM Only Fans Renee Gracie* Audi R8 LMS Evo 2