Field Confirmed for Phillip Island Season Opener

Photo: GTWC Australia

Twenty cars have been confirmed for this weekend’s inaugural round of Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS at Phillip Island.

The entry list features eight different brands as the new joint Australian Racing Group and SRO Motorsports Group series kicks off at the Victorian circuit.

Competition is split between eight cars in the ‘Championship’ class and 11 in the ‘Trophy’ division with a combination of professional and amateur drivers filling the grid of GT3 machinery.

Phillip Island will see the return of Maranello Motorsport to GT racing in Australia as Peter Edwards and Adrian Deitz share the squad’s Ferrari 488 GT3.

The team has been largely absent from motorsport since winning the Bathurst 12 Hour in 2017 but is set to re-emerge for the GTWC Australia curtain-raiser.

A pair of Aston Martins will roll out as Tony Quinn brings his Local Legends sponsored new-gen Vantage GT3 and Michael Bailey is listed in No. 38 ‘Trophy’ class 2014-spec V12 Vantage GT3.

Hobson Motorsport has entered its Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 for Brett Hobson, while two generations of Ferraris will be on track with Wayne Mack lining up in his sole Ferrari 458 GT3.

Dale Paterson’s Reiter Camaro GT3 and the Andrew Macpherson and Ben Porter-driven Lamborghini Huracan GT3 add further flavor to the field.

Audi is the most populated brand on the entry list with three R8 LMS Evos in the ‘Champ’ class and a further seven various generation R8 LMS cars featuring in Trophy.

Numerous cars are already being tipped as early favorites for the event, including the Pro-Am Audi combinations of Tony Bates/Chaz Mostert and Yasser Shahin/Garth Tander.

Another duo to watch is the Triple Eight Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo of Prince Jefri Ibrahim and Jamie Whincup, who is replacing an injured Shane van Gisbergen.

Meanwhile, Grove Motorsport will be hoping to score well with the father-son combination of Stephen and Brenton Grove in the squad’s brand-new Porsche 911 GT3 R.

A sole GT4 entrant makes up the 20-car grid in the form of Mark Griffith in his Mercedes-AMG GT4.

“Twenty cars for the return of top-line GT racing is a great result for the first event and I’m proud of the entrants who are getting back in their awesome cars and entertaining us all,” said category manager Ken Collier.

“It actually looked like we were going to have even more than 20 cars, but a couple of teams withdrew late, so the good news there is that we know the interest is there for GT3 racing in Australia.

“With big events coming up soon at Mount Panorama and The Bend, I wouldn’t be surprised if we have over 25 cars entering sooner rather than later.”

Teams will have a busy day on Friday with two practice sessions and a two-phase qualifying followed by a race on Saturday and Sunday, both 60 minutes in length.

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