Tony Bates says tyre conservation will be “absolutely critical” for this weekend’s pair of one-hour Australian GT Championship races at Barbagallo, following practice and first qualifying today.
After acquainting himself with the circuit in practice, the Moveitnet/C-Tech Laser/Local Roadways/Bryant & Bryant Mercedes-AMG GT3 pilot improved by well over a second in qualifying. The session included Pro Class drivers, and he finished up 13th-fastest.
“We completed plenty of laps in both today’s sessions, which we needed to do because it was my first time driving the Eggleston Motorsport Mercedes at this circuit,” Bates said.
“The big story this weekend will be tyre degradation – it’s unbelievably high. There were only a few laps where the tyres were at their peak performance, and then they fell away significantly.
“We only have three sets of tyres for the weekend, and there’s still another qualifying session and two long races, so strategy will be paramount.
“There is still some pace to be found and the Eggleston Motorsport team will continue to fine-tune the car overnight.
“We’re playing the long game; hopefully by erring on the conservative side, we will have an advantage when it counts.”
Qualifying 2 will be held at 8:40am tomorrow (10:40am Eastern Standard Time) and Race 1 will be at 12:25pm (2:25pm Eastern Standard Time), with the sessions live on FOX Sports 506.