Tony Bates is enjoying his return to the hallowed turf of Mount Panorama, after driving the Bostik Racing Audi R8 to fourth-fastest in both today’s practice sessions for Round 2 of the GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS.

After dialling himself into the car during the first session, Bates said he was much more confident in the second session.

“Mount Panorama is a circuit that must be treated with respect – there is no margin for error, especially over the top of the Mountain, so the first session is always one where you exercise caution,” Bates said.

“I felt more comfortable in the second session and I think I’ll take another step forward in qualifying tomorrow.”

While Bates was given the majority of the running in today’s two sessions, his co-driver Chaz Mostert completed a handful of installation laps in preparation for qualifying.

“One of Chaz’s strengths is switching between different types of cars and immediately being on the pace,” Bates said.

“He’s been able to accumulate some seat time in the Bostik Audi TCR car and he’ll be right on the pace when he gets into the GT car tomorrow.”

Bates said a change of race format will make qualifying for both drivers especially important.

“This weekend, Chaz and I will each do a qualifying session, and the times for those sessions will set the starting positions for each of the two races,” he said.

“Therefore, both of us will need to extract the absolute maximum from the car to ensure we have the best possible grid spot for both races.”

Tomorrow’s two qualifying sessions will be held at 9:05am and 9:35am, with race one at 2:15pm. The race will be shown live on 7MATE.