Tony Bates has been ruled out of the remainder of this weekend’s final round of the Australian GT Championship at Sandown, after suffering a hamstring injury in yesterday’s opening race.

Bates had qualified his AFS/Moveitnet/Local Roadways/C-Tech Laser/Bryant & Bryant Audi R8 in third position, and a blinder start saw him taking the lead on the opening lap, despite a rub with Ryan Simpson in Turn 2.

However, Bates’ hamstring gave out as he braked for Dandenong Road Corner, causing him to run wide. Despite enduring severe pain, he battled on and was running fourth before his day was done with an engine failure on the second-last lap.

“We had some good pace in practice and qualifying, and even though we didn’t quite get the best of the traffic and track conditions, I was still able to qualify third,” Bates said.

“The start was just about perfect and I was able to overtake two cars into Turn 1; Ryan Simpson made contact with me in Turn 2 but I was still able to hold the lead.

“As I braked for Dandenong Road Corner, my hamstring snapped and caused me to run wide.

“I was in agony for the rest of the race, but I was still able to do some decent lap times and I even managed to overtake Geoff Emery after we both came out of the pits together.

“It’s a shame the engine failed, because we had some really good pace. The team could have repaired the car, but there’s no way I would have passed a fitness test with my hamstring injury. Obviously it’s now in my best interests to make sure I’m physically recovered before I race again in a fortnight for the final Audi R8 LMS Cup races.”

The final two LMS Cup races will be held at Malaysia’s Sepang circuit on 23-24 November.