Shannons Mid Season Report Card – GT

With plenty to race for in the remaining months of 2021, take a look at how the seasons of our regular Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships categories are shaping up.

Motorsport Australia GT Championship

The Motorsport Australia GT Championship enjoyed three entertaining rounds this year with Repco Supercars Championship stars Jamie Whincup, Shane van Gisbergen and Chaz Mostert having added to the existing star power of the revamped category.

Just one more round remains for the year joining the six-day extravaganza at Bathurst later this year, as competitors battle it out for the Championship, also known as the Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia.

Rounds so far

Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships – Sydney Motorsport Park
– Race one: Yasser Shahin/Garth Tander
– Race two: Yasser Shahin/Garth Tander

Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships – Mount Panorama
– Race one: Jefri Ibrahim/Shane van Gisbergen
– Race two: Yasser Shahin/Garth Tander

OTR Supersprint – The Bend Motorsport Park
– Race one: Yasser Shahin/Garth Tander
– Race two: Yasser Shahin/Garth Tander

Rounds remaining
Repco Bathurst 1000 – 30 November – 5 December

Photos: Speed Shots Photography

The Leaders– Yasser Shahin and Garth Tander

Endurance racing isn’t foreign to these two drivers, especially Tander who has won the great Bathurst 1000 on four occasions, so it should be no surprise they are leading the championship.

They have produced a stellar year behind the wheel of The Bend Motorsport Park Audi R8 LMS Evo, having won all but one race this year.

The duo started strong with a dominant victory in Phillip Island’s season opener, taking out the win by 15 seconds. They were challenged more  in the next race, but held off Stephen and Brenton Grove by just three seconds.

Bathurst was the home of the season’s second race meeting and once again Shahin and Tander were fighting for the outright win, only this time they fell short and lost out to van Gisbergen and teammate Jefri Ibrahim.

The leading duo weren’t affected though as they won a thrilling battle in the second race to claim a race two victory over Ibrahim and van Gisbergen by less than one second.

At The Bend Motorsport Park, Shahin’s home track, they repeated their efforts from Phillip Island, comfortably winning both races and keeping their place at the top of the standings.

Standings

Top five GT Championship Pro/AM

=Yasser Shahin – 143 points
= Garth Tander – 143
Jefri Ibrahim – 106
Tony Bates – 87
= Brenton – 84
= Stephen Grove – 84

Top 5 GT Championship AM
= Andrew Macpherson – 116
= Benjamin Porter – 116
Tony Quinn – 111
Arthur Abraham – 88
Marc Cini – 27

Top 5 GT Trophy Series
Brad Schumacher – 105
Brett Hobson – 80
Greg Taylor – 64
Nick Kelly- 63
Matt Stoupas – 50

Only one round remains and based on the previous three rounds, Shahin and Tander look highly likely to take out the title.

However, with his Supercars co-driving duties taking precedence, Tander has declared he won’t be taking part in the GT Championship finale.

Jefri Ibrahim is deserving of his second place this year and although it’s unlikely he will have one of his previous teammates in Whincup, van Gisbergen or Broc Feeney by his side for the finale, the Triple Eight Racing driver is sure to have a talented steerer as his co-driver.

Where it gets interesting is the battle for third with Bates just three points ahead of the Groves.

Depending on whether they will be at the Bathurst round or not, this fight will go right down to the final lap – although the Groves should have full confidence in their ability as they have finished second twice.

It’s just as close of a battle in the GT Championship AM with just five points separating current leads Andrew Macpherson and Benjamin Porter to Australian motorsport utility Tony Quinn.

At Mount Panorama, it was Quinn who enjoyed the more dominant weekend, guiding his Aston Martin Vantage to two wins over Macpherson and Porter.

However the positions were reversed at The Bend Motorsport Park when the Lamborghini Huracan of Macpherson and Porter crossed the finish line first in both races.

With Quinn not finishing the final race, it allowed Macpherson and Porter to take the lead.

In the other major class battle, Brad Schumacher is enjoying a comfortable stint on top of the GT Trophy Series standings.

It’s been a fairly mixed season in the class with Schumacher’s efforts in the last two rounds proving the difference.

Matt Stoupas actually got the better start in the class, winning the first race of the Phillip Island round, before finishing second to Hobson in the second race.

Stoupas had an average round at The Bend, which allowed Schumacher, who finished second in the first race of the season, to charge to the front after he delivered with both race wins at Mount Panorama and then race two in South Australia.

As for Hobson, he has been highly consistent this year having been thereabouts all year, as well as finishing in the class top three in every race.

However for him to win the title, he will need to win both outings at Bathurst and will require Schumacher to retire in at least one of the races – although with the current class leader having a good record at the mountain, it may be a tough mountain to climb.