Yasser Shahin and Matt Campbell win Adelaide opener, title race tightens

Yasser Shahin and Matt Campbell win Adelaide opener, title race tightens

The EMA Motorsport / The Bend Motorsport Park Porsche of Yasser Shahin and Matt Campbell has claimed the opening Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS race at Adelaide.

Campbell held off a hard-charging Christopher Mies in Liam Talbot's Shannons Audi in the closing minutes, as the fight for the GT World Challenge Australia title tightened with third-placed Shahin claiming the first win of the weekend.

Shahin would get the jump from pole position and led Talbot heading into the Senna Chicane, however the South Australian nearly overshot turn four, with the Shannons Audi almost piling into the back of the EMA Motorsport Porsche as Shahin battled to stop.

There would be further drama back in the pack as GT3 Trophy runners Paul Lucchitti and Tom McLennan came together at turn nine, with Earl Bamber Motorsport Porsche of McLennan spinning and tagging the Supabarn Supermarket Mercedes of James Koundouris.

Turn nine would prove to be the action area in the early stages of the race, as Michael Sheargold would cop a whack to the rear of his RAM Motorsport Mercedes from the MARC II Mustang of Geoff Taunton on lap two, though both would continue on.

The same could not be said for Taunton on lap five, as Christos Batzios' Mercedes slammed into the MARC II Mustang in a clumsy move at the turn nine hairpin, with both cars forced to retire due to the damage sustained.

The key championship contenders all pitted as soon as the pit window opened, with Geoff Emery pitting from third on lap eight, followed by Shahin and Talbot the following lap, giving their respective Pro drivers more than twenty minutes in the cars.

The Jamec Racing entry would lose valuable time exiting the pits however, as Max Hofer found himself parked in by the Shannons Audi of Talbot/Christopher Mies that was being serviced in the pit bay ahead, losing about five seconds.

The EMA Porsche, now with Matt Campbell at the wheel, left the pits with a handy five second buffer over Mies, however that gap would fluctuate up to as far as seven seconds as the two leaders encountered lapped traffic.

The gap would shrink in the final ten minutes, as Mies went on an absolute tear in his quest to chase down the Porsche Penske Motorsport star, going more than two seconds faster than the previous lap record with a 1m 17.7771s.

The German's efforts were in vain however, as Campbell would come home with just over one and a half seconds in hand to claw back more valuable ground in co-driver Shahin's quest to claim a third straight GT World Challenge Australia title.

Rounding out the podium behind the Talbot/Mies Shannons Audi was the Jamec Racing Audi of Emery/Hofer, who finished almost thirty-four seconds behind the winning Porsche.

Next was the lead Am class entry of Brad Schumacher, who steered his Schumacher Motorsport Audi to a fine fourth outright, and was only six seconds behind Hofer at the finish.

GT3 Trophy honours went to Marcos Flack in twelfth outright, who continued his solid debut weekend in the Sonic Motor Racing Services Porsche, despite a hairy moment when entering the pits for his compulsory pit stop resulting in a thirty-second penalty.

The Invitational win went to John Goodacre, who finished in eleventh outright in the Gap Solutions / Ult100 Oils MARC GT.

Race 2 for Fanatec GT World Challenge begins at 8:50am local time tomorrow morning.

The race will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 506.