Audi and Mercedes split the sessions in Queensland
Multiple Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS race winner Garth Tander made a welcome return to the category by clocking the fastest time in opening practice before weather played its part in the evening where Brad Schumacher paced the field.
After taking five wins partnering Yasser Shahin in The Bend Motorsport Park Audi R8 LMS GT3 last year, Tander returns to continue the successful partnership at Queensland Raceway and did so in perfect fashion.
Tander set the fastest time of 1m 08.976 to edge Triple Eight Race Engineering’s Shane van Gisbergen in his Mercedes-AMG GT3 by 0.236s.
Joint series leader Liam Talbot also welcomes back regular co-driver Fraser Ross in the now-red Gtechniq-supported Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II and took out third as the duo is sure to be a contender this weekend.
Rounding out the Pro-Am Class were the similar Audi of C-Tech Laser’s Tony Bates and David Reynolds, which finished ahead of the debuting Harrolds Racing Team Mercedes of Peter Hackett, who was sharing alongside Ross Poulakis.
Mark Rosser was top of the Am Class timesheets in his Catan Audi after setting a 1m 10.640s lap, edging the KFC R8 LMS GT3 Evo II of leading contender Matt Stoupas.
Rounding out the Am Class field was the second KFC entry of Gary Higgon and Paul Stokell, which left the Koundouris brothers James and Theo in third driving the Supabarn Audi.
Completing the field were three GT Trophy entries, with Brad Schumacher logging a 1m 10.732s in his R8 LMS Ultra to lead Scott Taylor’s Porsche and Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS debutant Michael Kokkinos driving the Launch Racing Audi.
Weather ensured the time set in first practice weren’t going to be improved upon as the Harrolds Racing Mercedes paced the session with a 1m 17.894s.
Limited running was undertaken by most of the field as Rosser again took Am Class honours and Schumacher likewise GT Trophy.
Qualifying begins at 9:10am tomorrow consisting of two 20 minute segments, one for each driver ahead of a 60 minute race at 1:00pm AEST tomorrow.
The SpeedSeries at Queensland Raceway will feature seven racing categories and 12 hours of live and ad-break free coverage on Stan Sport across Saturday and Sunday.
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