Brad Schumacher and Will Brown score maiden outright Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia success at The Bend

Brad Schumacher and Will Brown score maiden outright Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia success at The Bend

A crucial opening sting by Will Brown set up a maiden win for he and Brad Schumacher in Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS.

Fighting a Ferrari challenge, Schumacher has achieved wins in Trophy, Am and now Pro-Am Class, while it’s Brown’s first success in the series.

The two Arise Racing GT Ferrari 296 GT3s led the field into Turn 1, but there was chaos behind as the OnlyFans Team MPC Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo2 of Renee Gracie made contact with Tony D’Alberto in the Wall Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo2. Gracie was one of three entries to retire on the first lap being joined by Hallmarc Team MPC’s Marc Cini and the fellow Audi of yesterday’s Am Class winners Valmont Racing.

Chaz Mostert led the early running leading a close battle for second between the Dayle ITM Team MPC Audi of Brendon Leitch, Brown in the Shaw & Partners/Kelso Electrical/Team MPC R8 LMS GT3 Evo2 and Jaxon Evans in the second Arise Racing GT Ferrari.

Behind the top four, Realta/Tigani Motorsport’s Jayden Ojeda was within 10s off the lead being challenged by Triple Eight Race Engineering’s Peter Hackett and Alex Peroni driving the Team BRM Audi.

After the Am Class pit stop cycle was complete it was the Black Wolf Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 leading, but it had a hairy moment as Brown and Leitch battled for second splitting Shane Woodman on either side to make a crucial pass.

After this pass, Brown made a massive push to catch Mostert and was doing so when the Ferrari entered the pit lane with 24 minutes on the clock. Evans and Fraser joined Mostert in the pits, before a lap later the Team MPC Audis of Brown and Leitch did the same to emerge in front.

It was a case of deja vu as the two drivers to battle at Phillip Island in Schumacher and Miles just in reverse order, however it was the Shaw & Partners/Kelso Electrical/Team MPC Audi building the advantage to 7s.

Reigning Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS Liam Talbot remained in touch as he closed on Miles and teammate Elliott Schutte was doing likewise.

Home driver Mark Rosser was sitting an impressive fifth holding off category debutant, New Zealander Steve Brooks in a great contrast to his race from Saturday after taking over from Nick McBride.

With 10 minutes remaining the battle for second was on between Miles and Talbot, with Schutte just 2s further back. It took just a lap, but a daring move under brakes at the penultimate corner gave Talbot second place as he Schumacher held a 14.5s margin at seven minutes remaining.

Miles’ concern didn’t end as Schutte was immediately aiming to take advantage and had a crack at Turn 1, only for the Audi to close the door.

After an attempt at Turn 8 on the previously lap to pass Miles failed, Schutte had a bigger dive at Turn 6 where he held the inside line though ran wide allowing the Dayle ITM Team MPC Audi back through in addition to dropping 3s.

Not to be disheartened, Schutte completed the same move again and did so successfully to snatch third place in the closing minutes.

But nobody caught Schumacher delivering the first win as a partnership with Brown as the two Arise Racing GT completed the podium, Talbot/Mostert from Schutte/Evans. Miles/Leitch finished just off the podium in fourth from Rosser/Peroni, the Triple Eight Race Engineering Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Fraser and Peter Hackett, Brooks/McBride despite a late race incident, with Paul Lucchetti coming home eighth after Ojeda started the Realta/Tigani Motorsport Mercedes-AMG.

Rounding out the top 10 was the sole Trophy Class KMB Aston Martin Vantage V12 GT3 of Valentino Astuti and Darren Currie from the returning Wall Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo2 shared by Adrian Deitz and D’Alberto.

The battle for Am Class was decided in the final laps as RAM Motorsport succeeded in taking the win after contact late yesterday dropped Mike Sheargold and Garth Walden to third.

It was a Mercedes-AMG GT3 clean-sweep of the Am Class top three as the Supabarn Supermarkets/Tigani Motorsport entry of James and Theo Koundouris took second from the Black Wolf Motorsport example of Woodman and Ben Schoots.

The next round of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS will be held at Queensland Raceway as part of the Shannons SpeedSeries on August 2-4.