Talbot Keeps Top Spot After Another Strong Weekend

GTWC Australia Championship will go ‘down to the wire’ as Talbot and Tander conquer wild Race 2 after another successful GTWC Australia race weekend for the Scuderia Autoart-Sponsored #65 Audi.



Round 5 of the Fanatec GT World Challenge was packed of breathtaking action as Liam Talbot overcomes a 15-second penalty following a controversial contact with the Triple Eight / JMR Mercedes, resulting in a dramatic ending at the Queensland Raceway as the championship battle reaches its climax heading into the final round.



Championship leader Liam Talbot was paired with 5-time Bathurst 1000 winner Gareth Tander for crucial Round 5 in Queensland. The weekend was ignited from Q1 as Liam Talbot clinched pole position for Race 1, surging ahead in the final moments of the session to outpace the Ibrahim/Jamie Whincup Mercedes by a mere four-hundredths of a second to set a time 1m 08.3006s in what was a hard-fought quali session. 



As Talbot arrived as the Pro-Am championship leader, he placed himself in an ideal position to maintain the lead with key championship rivals jostled on the second row, setting the stage for an intense competition since Saturday. Talbot held the lead at the start and built a 10-second gap on Ibrahim at the halfway point, but a longer compulsory pit stop made the Audi drop to fourth place as Tander returned to the track after the pit cycle. Amidst thrilling overtakes and strategic pit stops, a strong final stint by Hofer propelled the rival Audi from third to first after the pit stop window to claim a well-deserved win in Race 1 and build up the tension for Race 2.



Reminiscent of Sydney’s race, the race was full of intensity from lights out, with Tander holding on to P3 in the middle of a thrilling start as Hofer chased Whincup for the lead. The Audi vs AMG battle took the spotlight, as Ibrahim’s Triple Eight AMG kept the lead after the pit stop as Talbot jumped into second while Hofer chased the sister Mercedes for the last podium spot.



The fight for the lead hit its climax on lap 41 after two lunges from Talbot for the lead, with the final attempt resulting in contact with the Mercedes and a 15-second penalty. The challenge was to increase the gap to the now second-placed Audi with three laps remaining. Talbot pushed the Audi R8 LMS EVO 2 to its limits in the closing stages, managing to increase the lead and achieving his fifth victory of the season. With the win, Talbot finished the round only 2 points ahead in the championship, with the title fight to be decided in the final round in Adelaide from November 23-26. 



Scuderia Autoart congratulates the entire Shannons Audi team for their success at the Queensland Raceway as Round 5 marked another exciting in our partnership. We eagerly look forward to the final round in Adelaide and fully support Liam Talbot in his bid for the GTWC Australia Championship.