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GT World Challenge Australia

International Drivers Set for Bathurst Season Finale

First-ever GTWC Australia titles to be decided this week in Bathurst…

Photo: GTWC Australia

Former Formula 1 and current Shannons S5000 Tasman Series driver Roberto Merhi and international GT star Christopher Mies will contest the final round of Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia at Mount Panorama this week.

A total of 15 cars are on the entry list for the fourth and final round of the truncated season.

As announced last week, Mies is aiming to help Melbourne Performance Centre’s Yasser Shahin secure the inaugural GTWC Australia Pro-Am title, with the South Australian holding a 37-point advantage ahead of Triple Eight Race Engineering’s Prince Jefri Ibrahim.

Mies is no stranger to the mountain and Audi GT3 machinery, having won the Bathurst 12 Hour in 2011 and 2012. He will add to his weekend duties by contesting the final round of the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series, driving an Audi RS 3 LMS TCR as a guest driver.

Rosser will race for the first at the Mountain with Mehri acting as a mentor and team-mate during the course of the weekend.

After upgrading to a current specification Audi R8 GT3 LMS Evo during the season’s hiatus, Rosser is looking forward to the challenge.

“Obviously he’s a very talented driver so hopefully I can learn a thing or two from him and it will be exciting to watch him learn the track as well,” said Rosser.

“I was sitting in a lot of his debriefs at Sydney Motorsport Park with the Team BRM guys in the S5000 and just hearing his feedback was a really good learning experience for me.

“I’m sure he’ll dial in the car nicely for me at the Mountain.”

The association was made through Team BRM as Rosser completed odd jobs for the squad at the opening Shannons S5000 Tasman Series round at SMP where he got to know both the international drivers entered in the series, Mehri and Yoshi Katayama.

Rosser’s Catan-liveried Audi is one of many new entries for this round including a similar Coin Spot-backed R8 GT3 LMS Evo for local GT racing returnees Liam Talbot and Fraser Ross.

Prince Jefri will also call on a new co-driver in the form of Australian Endurance Championship and Tourist Trophy winner Peter Hackett, providing an interesting side story to the title battle.

Finalizing the Pro-Am entries is the Grove Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R, with father-son team Stephen and Brenton Grove aiming to end their maiden season in local GT racing on a high.

AMAC Motorsport has swapped to a Porsche 911 GT3R as Andrew Macpherson and Ben Porter aim to take the honours in Am Class.

GT returnees James and Theo Koundouris as well as Marc Cini will enter the Am Class in Audis, joining regular Gary Higgon.

RAM Motorsport will make its GTWC Australia debut with Mike Sheargold and Garth Walden driving a recently upgraded Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo.

A tight battle is promised in GT Trophy as just 25 points separate local driver Brad Schumacher, who will debut a newer specification Audi and Brett Hobson’s Nissan GT-R GT3.

One addition sure to be a fan favourite will be Mike Bailey’s Bentley Continental GT3 and rounding out the GT Trophy field is Scott Taylor in his Porsche 911 GT3 R.

The field is completed by Mark Griffith in his Mercedes-AMG GT4.

Action begins on Tuesday for Practice 1 ahead of two one-hour races to decide each title, which are scheduled for Thursday at 12:25 p.m. local time (Wednesday, 8:25 p.m. ET) and Friday at 8:55 a.m. local (Thursday, 4:55 p.m. ET).

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