AMR success at The Mountain in GT World Challenge Australia

Sunday, April 04, 2021


This weekend’s second round of the GT World Challenge Australia from Bathurst continued Tony Quinn’s opening form from the first-round last month with a pair of Class wins aboard his new Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT3 to take the overall lead in his class.

Joining him at The Mountain was the Mike Bailey AMR V12 Vantage GT3 that this time sported an equally colourful livery after its lengthy rebuild after the car’s sizeable impact with the tyre wall in the opening race of the first round at Phillip Island last month.

Whilst Quinn was able to take on the infamous 3.8mile public road circuit with confidence during Free Practice, Bailey kept things a little more reserved wanting to see out the full event at his first attendance at the circuit in his Vantage again in the presence of some sizable Aussie driving talent.

With race one yesterday, Quinn started fifth on grid (first in class) in the field of just seventeen runners whilst Bailey started further back in P12 as the Safety Car again set the clock in motion at the start of the warmup lap. Surprisingly and considering the Pro-Am nature of the grid, the race was to run its hour-long distance cleanly with no incident or accident out on track and considering the speed at which all were pushing the envelope – that was only a good thing!.

Quinn pushed former one time Bathurst V12 Vantage GT3 racer Tony Bates hard in his Audi in the opening laps with the two ‘senior in years’ drivers distinctly able to keep up with one another over the top. Bailey, meanwhile let the pack go through turn one on the opening lap unchallenged as he elected to take this steady this time with the thought of the solid concrete walls being able to cause more damage than a tyre wall!

As both Astons were with solo drivers again, both had to stop still in the allocated window but nothing more was required as both cars emerged in P7 overall – P1 in class for Quinn and P13 overall and P6 in class for Bailey by the end of the stop sequence.

With the Pro-Am entries now having their professional drivers aboard, it was unsurprising to see track position of both Aston drop as the laps counted down to end with Quinn securing another comfortable class win with Bailey a lap further back in P6 in class.

Sunday’s second race was nice an early as the GT3/GT4 series gave way to the headlining 6Hrs of Bathurst saloon car race later in the day. Again, Quinn would start form class pole in P7 whilst Bailey started from a familiar P12/P5 position.

Going into turn 1 on lap one three wide probably wasn’t a good idea in reflection for Quinn but he got away with it whilst Bailey again elected to see out the long game as a better option than another early race exit.

This time the pro drivers were in the cars ahead and they disappeared into the distance as Quinn battled things out for his class rivals in the #51 Lamborghini which was to be the case all the way through to his stop at the halfway mark.

As Quinn enjoyed a two-horse battle ahead, Bailey was in the depths of a four-horse battle for P12 overall with the #9 Am Class Audi ahead before a bullish move saw Bailey get past for track position only.

Having just served their stops, an error from another of Quinn’s class rivals saw his car nudge the wall and lose a wheel in the Dipper bringing out the Safety Car for the first time that weekend. Fortunately, only seven minutes were lost to that incident and that left a thirteen-minute dash to the flag for the remaining runners.

A late pass for Quinn took him up to P6 overall for another class win at Bathurst whilst Bailey had his best result of the season so far with a P9 overall finish – just off his Trophy Class podium in P4.

With points now on the board for Bailey and a clear class lead for Quinn in Am, the Series now takes another short break before the third round at The Bend Motorsport Park at the beginning of May.

Photo credits – GTWCA / Daniel Kalisz
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