Moveitnet/C-Tech Laser/Local Roadways/Bryant & Bryant Mercedes-AMG GT3 racer Tony Bates has maintained his strong position in the 2017 Australian GT Championship by finishing fourth in today’s one-hour race at Barbagallo.
Bates was on the charge early, climbing from 11th to sixth in the opening stint despite a lengthy Safety Car due to a first-lap incident.
Once the pit stops were complete, Bates emerged with the race lead and was involved in battles with local racer Pete Major, along with Pro drivers Ashley Walsh and Kelvin Van Der Linde.
“The car was excellent once again today, and I felt we achieved a great team result,” Bates said.
“Unlike yesterday, we were not disadvantaged by the Safety Car and the pit strategy worked to our advantage.
“Ash and I had a great battle and I was able to hold him off for a few laps, which was satisfying.”
Bates also enjoyed a contest with his long-time rival, Max Twigg in the final laps. Also driving a Mercedes-AMG GT3, Twigg had the advantage of fresher tyres than Bates in the closing stint, but still was not able to get past.
“Max and I have raced against each other a lot in Carrera Cup, and we’re good mates off the track,” Bates said.
“In the Porsche he was always the benchmark, so it was very pleasing to go head-to-head with him today and come out on top.”
With three rounds complete and two rounds remaining in the 2017 Australian GT Championship, the standings are tight with just 74 points separating the top six.
“It’s good to again be in the mix of drivers contending for a national title, and I’m really enjoying racing such an amazing car,” Bates said.
“The next two tracks we visit, Townsville and Sandown, are two of my favourites so bring on the end of the season!”
Round 4 of the Australian GT Championship at Townsville will be held on 7-9 July.
Round Results Summary
Qualifying 1: 13th
Qualifying 2: 13th
Race 1: 11th
Race 2: 4th
Australian GT Championship Top 10 Points – After Round 3
- Liam Talbot – 393
=2. Roger Lago – 365
=2. Geoff Emery – 365
=4. Tony Bates – 320
=4. Peter Major – 320
6. James Koundouris/Ash Walsh – 319
7. Max Twigg – 287
8. Fraser Ross – 277
9. Tony Walls – 211
10. Mark Griffith – 165