Talbot, Grove split GTWC poles at The Mountain
Wednesday 1st December, 2021 - 12:47pm
Liam Talbot and Brenton Grove have each taken a pole position for Round 4 of Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS at Mount Panorama.
Talbot, who is this weekend sharing the #65 Audi R8 LMS GT3 with Fraser Ross, clocked a 2:06.4514s to edge out Yasser Shahin by 0.7s in Qualifying 1.
A late effort from Grove put the #4 Porsche 911 GT3 R on top in Qualifying 2, the father-son combination eclipsing Talbot’s team-mate Ross late in the piece.
Peter Hackett was a late improver, climbing to second at the death to put the #888 Mercedes-AMG GT3 he’ll share with Jefri Ibrahim just 0.1819s adrift of Grove.
With inclement weather looming, all 15 cars ventured out on track to bank a lap in the opening minutes of Qualifying 1, which would set the grid for Race 1.
Liam Talbot in the #65 was the first driver to set a sub 2:10s lap, clocking a 2:08.5437s eight minutes into the session.
That was quickly bettered by Brett Hobson in his #96 Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 on a 2:07.4871s, although some way from the quickest times achieved in Tuesday’s practice.
As the session hit the 12-minute mark, rain began to fall at the bottom of The Mountain.
Talbot, who had been quickest to the first and second sector, duly bowled a wide at Murray’s Corner as he slid on the rain.
With five minutes remaining it was Hobson from Talbot, Shahin, Theo Koundouris (#69 Audi), and Brad Schumacher (#55 Audi).
Despite the rain at the bottom of The Mountain, Stephen Grove in the #4 surged from 10th to fourth.
Grove was soon demoted to sixth as Ibrahim rose to fourth and Mark Rosser in his #17 Audi to fifth with three minutes remaining.
Hobson continued his charge, his seventh lap, a 2:07.2504s, edging his advantage out to three and a half tenths.
Still, Talbot continued to reset the pace, a 2:06.4514s taking Talbot to the top by 0.7990s.
Soon enough, Shahin split Talbot and Hobson.
At the close of play, it was Talbot on top overall and in Pro-Am followed by Shahin, leading Trophy competitor Hobson, Rosser, Grove, Ibrahim, top Am class competitor Koundouris, Schumacher, Marc Cini (#9 Audi), and Michael Bailey (#38 Aston Martin).
Having only minutes earlier been covered in cloud, the circuit was soon baked in sun as Qualifying 2 began, which would set the grid for Race 2.
Brenton Grove in the #4 set the pace initially on a 2:06.7059s while #888 driver Hackett slotted into second and Ross in the #65 to third.
Garth Walden, who is sharing the #45 Mercedes with Mike Sheargold, came within three tenths of Grove on his first flying lap, taking him to second.
Paul Stokell in the #124 Audi threatened the top order, a 2:06.5356s putting him three and a half tenths off Grove’s pace.
Walden improved his benchmark, although didn’t do enough to best Grove, coming within 0.1805s.
With six minutes remaining, Ross climbed to the top on a 2:05.3068s to put himself eight tenths clear of the field.
Stokell followed suit, slotting in behind Ross with a time just two tenths adrift of the lead.
Walden closed in on Ross’ time, coming within 0.0944s with five minutes to go.
As the session came to a close, Grove surged to the top with a 2:04.8162s to go 0.4906s clear of Ross.
Hackett improved too, rising to second with a 0.3350s to split them at the death.
At the end of Qualifying 2, it was Grove from Hackett, Ross, Stokell, Walden, Roberto Merhi (#17 Audi), Theo Koundouris (#69 Audi), Ben Porter (#51 Porsche), Hobson, and Schumacher.
Race 1 of the weekend, a 60-minute affair, gets underway on Thursday at 12:25 local time/AEDT.
Results: Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS, Qualifying 1
|1||65||Coin Spot||Liam Talbot||Audi R8 LMS Evo||Q1||Pro/Am||2:06.4514|
|2||777||The Bend Motorsport Park / Valvoline||Yasser Shahin||Audi R8 LMS Evo||Q1||Pro/Am||2:07.2148|
|11||96||Hobson Motorsport||Brett Hobson||Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3||Q1||Trophy||2:07.2504|
|3||17||What do you Meme?||Mark Rosser||Audi R8 LMS Evo||Q1||Pro/Am||2:08.6051|
|4||4||Grove Group / Dasher + Fisher||Stephen Grove||Porsche 911 GT3-R||Q1||Pro/Am||2:08.8904|
|5||888||Triple Eight Race Engineering||Jefri Ibrahim||Mercedes-AMG GT3||Q1||Pro/Am||2:08.8964|
|6||69||Supabarn||James Koundouris||Audi R8 LMS Evo||Q1||Am||2:09.4351|
|12||55||Schumacher Motorsport / Kelso Electrical||Brad Schumacher||Audi R8 LMS Evo||Q1||Trophy||2:10.2114|
|7||9||Hallmarc||Marc Cini||Audi R8 LMS Evo||Q1||Am||2:11.0614|
|13||38||Trading Garage / The Motorists||Michael Bailey||Aston Martin Vantage GT3||Q1||Trophy||2:12.1090|
|8||51||Imak Kwikmit||Andrew Macpherson||Porsche 911 GT3 R||Q1||Am||2:12.3825|
|9||45||RAM Motorsport / GWR Australia||Mike Sheargold||Mercedes-AMG GT3||Q1||Am||2:13.7540|
|10||124||K.F.C.||Gary Higgon||Audi R8 LMS Evo||Q1||Am||2:13.9378|
|14||222||Scott Taylor Motorsport||Scott Taylor||Porsche 911 GT3 R||Q1||Trophy||2:17.1906|
|15||19||Daimler Trucks Brisbane||Mark Griffith||Mercedes-AMG GT4||Q1||GT4||2:19.9401|
Results: Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS, Qualifying 2
|1||4||Grove Group / Dasher + Fisher||Brenton Grove||Porsche GT3-R 911-II||Q2||Pro/Am||2:04.8162|
|2||888||Triple Eight Race Engineering||Peter Hackett||Mercedes AMG GT3||Q2||Pro/Am||2:04.9981|
|3||65||Coin Spot||Fraser Ross||Audi R8 LMS Evo||Q2||Pro/Am||2:05.3068|
|4||124||K.F.C.||P.Stokell||Audi R8 LMS Evo||Q2||Am||2:05.4002|
|5||45||RAM Motorsport / GWR Australia||G.Walden||Mercedes AMG GT3||Q2||Am||2:05.4012|
|6||17||What do you Meme?||R.Merhi||Audi R8 LMS Evo||Q2||Pro/Am||2:06.2706|
|7||69||Supabarn||Theo Koundouris||Audi R8 LMS Evo||Q2||Am||2:06.5849|
|8||51||Imak Kwikmit||B.Porter||Porsche 911 GT3-R||Q2||Am||2:06.6510|
|9||96||Hobson Motorsport||Brett Hobson||Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3||Q2||Trophy||2:07.1502|
|10||55||Schumacher Motorsport / Kelso Electrical||Brad Schumacher||Audi R8 LMS Ultra||Q2||Trophy||2:07.2422|
|11||38||Trading Garage / The Motorists||Michael Bailey||Bentley GT3||Q2||Trophy||2:09.1622|
|12||9||Hallmarc||Marc Cini||Audi R8 LMS Evo||Q2||Am||2:10.2998|
|13||222||Scott Taylor Motorsport||Scott Taylor||Porsche 911 GT3-R||Q2||Trophy||2:17.7963|
|14||19||Daimler Trucks Brisbane||Mark Griffith||Mercedes GT4||Q2||GT4||2:18.8474|