Tony Bates is excited to return to one of his most successful circuits, Melbourne’s Sandown Raceway, for Round 4 of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS this weekend.
Since 2009, Bates has won nine races at the venue across three different categories – Commodore Cup (two wins), Carrera Cup (six wins including a clean-sweep in 2015) and most recently GT, where he won a race in 2018.
“Sandown has a lot of happy memories for me – it’s my home track and I’ve always enjoyed racing there,” Bates said.
“Winning the GT race outright against some high-quality opposition in 2018 was pretty special, but I also had some great Carrera Cup results there and back in my Dunlop Super2 days I was consistently in the top 10 as well.”
Bates will once again be joined by David Reynolds in the C-Tech Laser/Bryant & Bryant/OneLedger Accountants Audi R8, the duo sitting fourth in the championship after the first three rounds.
Melbourne’s notoriously variable weather conditions are expected to play a part this weekend, with showers forecast for both days, but Bates is unfazed.
“At the Bathurst 12 Hour, Dave was one of the fastest drivers on track in the wet and I also did a stint in the rain, so I’ve had recent experience in those sorts of conditions,” he said.
“We recently did a test day where the car performed well, and I’ll be doing some simulator work this week to fine-tune my driving technique.
“So far this season, we’ve had some strong pace but luck has gone against us on a couple of occasions. This weekend’s focus will be on keeping out of trouble and hoping we don’t have any problems or incidents.”
Practice for this weekend’s GT round commences on Friday.
GT World Challenge Australia Round 4 Schedule
Friday, 16 September
10:55am – Practice 1 (30 min)
2:05pm – Practice 2 (30 min)
Saturday, 17 September
9:25am – Qualifying 1 (20 min)
9:50am – Qualifying 2 (20 min)
1:25pm – Race 1 (60 min)
Sunday, 18 September
1:35pm – Race 2 (60 min)