Tony Bates and David Reynolds have fallen just short of a podium finish in the first Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia race at Phillip Island today, both drivers showing impressive pace in the C-Tech Laser Audi R8 but losing valuable time with an unlucky penalty.
From seventh on the grid, Bates made one of his typically rapid starts, gaining two places on the opening lap. He maintained fifth position throughout his stint, but an awkwardly-positioned backmarker dealt him a setback after a Safety Car period.
“When the Safety Car came out, I was right behind a much slower GT4 car,” Bates explained.
“When the race restarted, the driver of the car was trying to do the right thing and stay out of everyone’s way but unfortunately that meant I overtook just before the start-finish line.
“We only received a minor penalty – we had to sit stationary for an additional five seconds during our pit stop – but it was enough to cost us valuable track position.”
Reynolds resumed the race in sixth position and was able to make up two spots before the end of the race to finish fourth, setting some blistering times as he chased down Shane Van Gisbergen in the Triple 8 Mercedes. Ultimately, Reynolds crossed the line just 0.3s behind his Supercar rival.
“David has done a sensational job this weekend,” Bates said.
“He only had two sessions in the car prior to the race, so for him to be battling against Van Gisbergen and recording such fast times was a terrific effort.
“I felt comfortable in the car as well, the Melbourne Performance Centre crew have done a great job with the setup and I know we have the package to contend for a podium in tomorrow’s race.” Another 60-minute race will be held at 1:45 tomorrow afternoon, again shown live on Stan Sport.