Moveitnet/C-Tech Laser/Transtex/Bryant & Bryant Mercedes-AMG GT3 driver Tony Bates has stormed to an eighth-place finish in Sunday’s final race of the Australian GT Championship at the Australian Grand Prix.
The fine conclusion to the weekend capped off an enjoyable race meeting for Bates, who became engaged in a battle with Ivan Capelli – a driver for the famous Ferrari F1 team in the early 1990s – in Saturday’s Race 3.
“Capelli passed me off the start of Saturday’s race, and my Mercedes was stronger through the corners but his Lambo was faster on the straights so I wasn’t able to overtake him,” Bates said.
Bates started 23rd on the grid for Sunday’s final, following his dramas in Friday’s race, but took advantage of a first-corner incident to make up a number of positions.
The Safety Car was deployed and Bates restarted from 13th position, making up a further few positions before the Safety Car was again deployed.
The race restarted with just a couple of laps left to run, Bates overtaking two more cars to take the chequered flag in eighth position.
“It’s a shame we didn’t get to complete more laps, but to come from 23rd to eighth in just four laps of green-flag racing was a great way to finish the weekend,” Bates said.
“The Eggleston Motorsport team made a couple of changes to the car on Saturday night and they worked a treat, it was really hooked up.
“If there had been a few more laps, we had the pace to be contending for a top five result for sure.”
Bates finished the weekend 11th overall, and has maintained third position in the championship standings.
“The drama on Friday could have been costly, but fortunately we were able to salvage a reasonable result,” Bates said.
“As always, it was a great atmosphere racing at the Grand Prix, especially driving such an amazing car.
“A big thank you to all my supporters who were trackside over the weekend, my sponsors C-Tech Laser, Transtex and Bryant & Bryant, and Eggleston Motorsport for preparing such a competitive package.”
The next round of the Australian GT Championship is at Barbagallo, 5-7 May.
Round Results Summary
Qualifying 1: 12th
Qualifying 2: 4th
Race 1: 14th
Race 2: 23rd
Race 3: 12th
Race 4: 8th
Australian GT Championship Top 10 Points – After Round 2
- Roger Lago – 338
- Liam Talbot – 240
- Tony Bates – 237
- Geoff Emery – 222
- Peter Major – 194
- James Koundouris/Ash Walsh – 186
- Max Twigg – 183
- David Russell – 157
- Fraser Ross – 155
- Tony Walls – 134