Double 12-Hour champion returns for GTWC finale’

DOUBLE Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour winner Christopher Mies will headline the return of GT3 vehicles to Mount Panorama at the Repco Bathurst 1000 next week. 

The German ace, who won the 2011 and 2012 12-hour races, has been associated with Audi Sport since 2008 and has raced within its R8 LMS GT3 program for more than a decade.

He’s also won the Australian GT title and Tourist Trophy and will next week pair with Yasser Shahin in one of Audi Sport Team Valvoline entries in a bid to help his new co-driver claim the Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS crown.

“Bathurst is always special and to come back after many years after not being able to be in Australia, I’m really looking forward to it,” said Mies.

“Australia is my favourite country and racing there is always a pleasure. I like the Australian racing culture.”

With 50-points on offer across the two races, Shahin is in the box seat to take the championship. He holds a 37-point advantage ahead of Prince Jefri Ibrahim in the Triple Eight Race Engineering Mercedes-AMG GT3, who will be partnered by previous Australian Endurance Championship winner and former 12-hour podium finisher, Peter Hackett.

“Obviously my main goal is to help Yasser (Shahin) win the championship and this is what I will do,” Mies emphasised.

“From what I’ve heard he’s a great guy and an even better racer.”

“I can’t wait to get this done for him and MPC. I’ve really missed these guys and I’m looking forward to continuing our story together.”

Meanwhile, former Formula 1 and current Shannons S5000 Tasman Series driver Roberto Merhi will contest the final round of Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia alongside Team BRM’s Mark Rosser.

After upgrading to a current specification Audi R8 GT3 LMS Evo during the season’s hiatus, Rosser will race for the first at the Mountain with Mehri acting as a mentor during the course of the weekend.

“Obviously he’s a very talented driver so hopefully I can learn a thing or two from him and it will be exciting to watch him learn the track as well,” said Rosser.

“I was sitting in a lot of his debriefs at Sydney Motorsport Park with the Team BRM guys in the S5000 and just hearing his feedback was a really good learning experience for me.

“I’m sure he’ll dial in the car nicely for me at the Mountain.”

The association was made through Team BRM as Rosser completed odd jobs for the squad at the opening Shannons S5000 Tasman Series round at SMP where he got to know both the international drivers entered in the series, Mehri and Yoshi Katayama.

Rosser’s Catan liveried Audi is one of many new entries for this round including a similar Coin Spot-backed R8 GT3 LMS Evo for local GT racing returnees Liam Talbot and Fraser Ross.

The championship fight between Yasser Shahin and Prince Jefri Ibrahim will take an interesting turn as the Triple Eight Race Engineering driver aims to bridge the 37-point deficit in the two hour-long races next week.

Both will feature ‘fill-in’ co-drivers as Peter Hackett steps into the Triple Eight Mercedes and factory Audi Sport’s Christopher Mies joins with Shahin.

Finalising the Pro-Am entries is the Grove Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3R, with father-son team Stephen and Brenton Grove aiming to end their maiden season in GT racing on a high.

The Grove team is the most successful ever in 12-Hour history, having won the GT3 Pro-Am class or Class B of the race on five separate occasions.

AMAC Motorsport has swapped to a Porsche 911 GT3R as Andrew Macpherson and Ben Porter aim to take the honours in Am Class.

GT returnees James and Theo Koundouris as well as Marc Cini will enter the Am Class in Audis, joining regular Gary Higgon.

RAM Motorsport will make its Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS debut with Mike Sheargold and Garth Walden driving a recently upgraded Mercedes-AMG GT3.

A tight battle is promised in GT Trophy as just 25-points separate local driver Brad Schumacher, who will debut a newer specification Audi R8 GT3 LMS and Brett Hobson’s Nissan GT-R GT3.

One addition sure to be a fan favourite will be Mike Bailey’s Bentley Continental GT3 and rounding out the GT Trophy field is Scott Taylor in his Porsche 911 GT3R.

The field is completed by Mark Griffith in his Mercedes-AMG GT4.

The Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS action will see the title decided over a pair of one-hour races as part of the massive six-day Repco Bathurst 1000 event next week.

ENTRY LIST, ROUND 4, FANATEC GT WORLD CHALLENGE AUSTRALIA POWERED BY AWS

Entry Type

Car #

Division

Sponsor

Driver 1

Driver 2

Car Make

Car Model

Champ

9

Am

Hallmarc

Marc Cini

 

Audi

R8 LMS Evo

Champ

17

Pro/Am

What do you Meme?

Mark Rosser

Roberto Mehri

Audi

R8 LMS EVO

Champ

45

Am

RAM Motorsport / GWR Australia

Mike Sheargold

Garth Walden

Mercedes

AMG GT3

Champ

51

Am

Imak Kwikmit

Andrew Macpherson

Ben Porter

Porsche

GT3-R

Champ

69

Am

Supabarn

James Koundouris

Theo Koundouris

Audi

R8 LMS Evo

Champ

124

Am

K.F.C.

Gary Higgon

Paul Stokell

Audi

R8 LMS EVO

Champ

4

Pro/Am

Grove Group / Dasher  + Fisher Gin

Stephen Grove

Brenton Grove

Porsche

GT3-R 911-II

Champ

65

Pro/Am

Coin Spot

Liam Talbot

Fraser Ross

Audi

R8 LMS Evo

Champ

777

Pro/Am

The Bend Motorsport Park / Valvoline

Yasser Shahin

Chris Mies

Audi

R8 LMS Evo

Champ

888

Pro/Am

Triple Eight Race Engineering – JMR

Prince Jefri Ibrahim

Peter Hackett

Mercedes

AMG GT3

GT4

19

Am

Daimler Trucks Brisbane

Mark Griffith

 

Mercedes

GT4

Trophy

38

Am

Trading Garage / The Motorists

Michael Bailey

 

Bentley

GT3

Trophy

55

Am

Schumacher Motorsport / Kelso Electrical

Brad Schumacher

 

Audi

R8 LMS

Trophy

96

Am

Hobson Motorsport

Brett Hobson

 

Nissan

Nismo GT3

Trophy

222

AM

Scott Taylor Motorsport

Scott Taylor

0

Porsche