Tony Bates says he has full confidence in his substitute co-driver Dylan O’Keeffe ahead of this weekend’s third round of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia, after the duo enjoyed a successful test day in the Bostik Australia Audi R8 last week.
O’Keeffe will fill in for Chaz Mostert, who is concentrating on his Supercars Championship commitments this weekend.
With Bates currently occupying a top-three position in the Pro-Am standings, championship points are vitally important and no stone has been left unturned in the team’s preparation.
“Dylan and I both tested at The Bend last week and Dylan was on the pace straight away,” Bates said.
“I also spent some time on the simulator at Melbourne Performance Centre’s Melbourne headquarters. The Bend is a challenging circuit and I haven’t done much racing there in the past, so I felt it was important to familiarise myself with it as much as possible.”
“The day we spent at The Bend was important for our preparation. I was able to reacquaint myself with the car and Tony helped us find a balanced setup,” O’Keeffe added.
“Fortunately, I’ve driven the Audi on a number of occasions in previous years, so it was just a case of getting readjusted, and not learning a whole new car. However, coming from the TCR is a massive change, which takes a bit of getting used to as they’re almost on opposite ends of the spectrum.”
“Both the test day and the time on the simulator have really helped get me comfortable with the Audi once again and I’m confident that I’ll be on the pace this weekend.”
The third round of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Series is being held from May 7-9 at The Bend Motorsport Park as part of the OTR SuperSprint.
Both races will be shown live on FOX Sports 506 and Kayo Sports.
GT World Challenge Track Schedule
10:45am – Practice 1 (25 mins)
1:05pm – Practice 2 (25 mins)
3:25pm – Qualifying 1 (15 mins)
3:45pm – Qualifying 2 (15 mins)
11:35am – Race 1 (60 mins)
10:00am – Race 2 (60 mins)