Tony Bates has returned to the Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Presented by AWS podium alongside Kelvin Van Der Linde in the final round at the Velo Adelaide 500 this weekend, despite a couple of unfortunate penalties that cost the duo a chance at victory.
After finishing a close second behind Yasser Shahin and Chris Mies in Race 1, Bates and Van Der Linde crossed the finish line first in Race 2, Van Der Linde opening up a sizeable advantage over his rivals before handing the car to Bates for the run home.
Bates did what he needed to do, punching out consistent lap times and bringing the C-Tech Laser/Makita/Bryant & Bryant/OneLedger Accountants Audi R8 home in first position, but a post-race penalty for a Safety Car restart infringement saw him relegated to second.
Starting third on the grid for Race 3, Bates and Van Der Linde were again in contention for victory, with Van Der Linde running second after the pit stops had been completed. However, he was called into the pits for an alleged breach of the minimum compulsory pit stop time – an infringement that was later proven to be incorrect. The extra pit stop cost the team two positions.
While frustrated with the lack of luck over the weekend, Bates was pleased with the upturn in speed at his last event of 2022.
“Although the penalties in Races 2 and 3 were disappointing, our pace this weekend was the strongest it’s been all season,” Bates said.
“To be back up the front of the field, fighting for victory is very satisfying and it was enjoyable to be back at the Adelaide Street Circuit, one of my favourite tracks.
“Having my family and local friends here all weekend supporting me added to the weekend atmosphere which was amazing.
“Kelvin was a superstar behind the wheel and we both had a lot of fun, on and off the track.”
With a tough 2022 season behind him, Bates said his enthusiasm for racing has been restored heading into 2023.
“Our speed this weekend has really boosted my confidence and I’m super-motivated to launch into 2023,” Bates concluded.
Tony Bates Racing’s plans for the 2023 season will be announced in the new year.
GT World Challenge Australia Round 6 Results
Qualifying 1: 3rd
Qualifying 2: 1st
Race 1: 2nd
Race 2: 2nd
Race 3: 4th