Tony Bates is looking forward to finishing the 2022 Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS season on a high note next weekend, when he returns to one of his favourite tracks, the Adelaide Parklands Circuit, aboard his C-Tech Laser/Bryant & Bryant/OneLedger Accountants Audi R8.
Bates has an outstanding record at the Adelaide venue, chalking up a total of 13 race wins since 2014 in the Porsche Carrera Cup, Australian GT and Audi R8 LMS Cup categories.
The Adelaide 500 was controversially dropped from the motor racing calendar in 2020, but a change in South Australian Government saw the popular event reinstated this year, much to Bates’ delight.
“I love Adelaide – it’s delivered some of the best results of my racing career and it’s great to have it back on the calendar,” Bates said.
“It’s a track that really suits my driving style. You have to be aggressive over the kerbs, and you also have to be prepared to take calculated risks.”
With Bates’ regular driving partner David Reynolds occupied with Supercars commitments, international GT superstar Kelvin Van Der Linde has been drafted into the team.
Van Der Linde has an enviable CV, highlighted by an outright win in the Nurburgring 24 Hour, two titles in the ADAC GT Masters and a top-three championship result in the ultra-competitive German DTM category. Bates is thrilled to be sharing the car with the 26-year-old South African.
“Kelvin is one of the fastest GT drivers in the world, so he will be a huge asset to the team,” he said.
“He’s professional and a great guy off the track, so I’m looking forward to working with him.”
A successful test day at Sydney Motorsport Park last week has energised Bates, who is feeling invigorated heading to Adelaide.
“It’s no secret we’ve had some tough results in the GT Championship this year, but last week’s test went really well – the car was fantastic and I felt very comfortable. It’s really boosted my enthusiasm and I just can’t wait to get out on track and finish the season with a great result.”
Unlike other GT rounds, which have featured two one-hour races, the Adelaide event will consist of a trio of 40 minute races.
GT World Challenge Australia Round 6 Schedule
Thursday, 1 December
9:10am – Practice 1 (25 min)
1:20pm – Practice 2 (25 min)
Friday, 2 December
9:20am – Qualifying 1 (20 min)
9:50am – Qualifying 2 (20 min)
2:05pm – Race 1 (40 min)
Saturday, 3 December
9:35am – Race 2 (40 min)
Sunday, 4 December
8:40am – Race 3 (40 min)