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GT World Challenge Australia

Tander, Shahin Take Back-To-Back Wins at Phillip Island

Shahin makes late pass on Grove to win second GTWC Australia race of season…

Photo: GTWC Australia

Yasser Shahin and Garth Tander claimed back-to-back wins at Phillip Island in Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS.

Shahin, at the wheel of the No. 777 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo, made a late pass on the Grove Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R of Stephen Grove to win Race 2 of the weekend.

Having taken over from co-driver Tander in the mandatory pit stop sequence, Shahin got by fellow gentlemen driver Stephen Grove and took the checkered flag first after also winning Race 1.

The father-and-son Grove combination fell three seconds short at the line, while Tony Bates was third in the No. 24 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo he shares with Chaz Mostert.

Pole-sitter Tander held firm to lead the opening lap despite a wild moment through the first corner as the Audi driver and the Triple Eight Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo of Jamie Whincup touched mid-corner.

Brenton Grove challenged Mostert for third in the opening exchanges but settled into fourth as the Supercars trio cleared off out front.

Mostert squeezed by Whincup for second on Lap 5 at Honda and latched onto the back of race leader Tander in no time, but didn’t get a chance to make a move before the race was neutralized after 20-minutes.

Greg Taylor spun in the final complex of corners and ended up in the gravel, with a brief safety car backing the field up and eliminating the 10-second advantage the top three had opened up.

Taylor’s Audi R8 LMS ultra was recovered quickly allowing for another spurt of green flag racing before the mandatory pit stop window opened with 35 minutes to go.

A sideways moment for Mostert through Turn 2 allowed Whincup to ease past for second position until they all pitted at the last-minute and the order changed dramatically.

Bates, who took over from Mostert, emerged from the pits in the lead but was cleared half a lap later by Stephen Grove as the latter built a healthy cushion.

Shahin replaced Tander in the No. 777 Audi and made light work of Prince Jefri Ibrahim in the Triple Eight car as well as Bates to vault to second.

Grove’s 19-second lead evaporated when Vince Tesoriero looped the No. 33 Audi at the final corner and couldn’t get moving again, requiring a safety car.

Green flag racing resumed with seven minutes to go as Shahin put pressure on Grove and swooped by on the main straight on the next lap for the lead and ultimately the win.

The Grove’s and the Mostert/Bates Audi completed the podium, followed by the Whincup/Ibrahim Mercedes and Brett Hobson who completed the top five in his Nissan GTR NISMO GT3.

Brad Schumacher spun on his own at Turn 3 in the closing stages, beaching his Audi R8 LMS ultra in the gravel.

That wasn’t the only late-race incident as Matt Stoupas was shouldered off the road by Hobson, with the former then making contact with Nick Kelly at the Hayshed.

Both Kelly and Stoupas ended up off the road but no safety car was needed in the final five minutes of the race.

Tony Quinn had to serve a drive-through penalty for a pit stop infringement and finished the race 10th in his Aston Martin Vantage GT3.

Slade Perrins is an Australian-based reporter for Sportscar365. Perrins won the 2019 Virgin Australia Supercars 'Young Gun Award' for journalism for his work with

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