Tony Bates has completed the 2016 Carrera Cup season with a second-place finish in the TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge class aboard the Moveitnet/C-Tech Laser Porsche Cup Car at the Castrol Gold Coast 600 on Sunday.
Starting fourth on the grid, Bates made a blinder start, overtaking both Marc Cini and James Bergmuller before the first chicane.
The newly-crowned Challenge Champion spent the remainder of the race pursuing Stephen Grove, the pair exchanging lap times with Bates eventually finishing just over a second behind his rival.
“Overall I was pleased with the result today, I knew it was going to be tough to overtake so I concentrated on nailing the start. Fortunately I made a good one and was able to make two spots off the line.
“After our spin in qualifying on Friday I only had one set of tyres for the weekend so I was happy to keep the pressure on Grove with tyres which were pretty worn out by that stage.”
Bates ended the 2016 season with an enviable register of statistics including eight race wins – more than any other Challenge driver. He also scored two pole positions – at the Australian Grand Prix and Sandown rounds. He also achieved the most fastest race laps of any driver, for which he received a TAG Heuer watch at Sunday night’s Carrera Cup presentation dinner.
However the real story behind Bates’ championship victory in 2016 was his incredible consistency. From the 23 races that made up the season, he recorded just three results outside the top four, a fact he was quick to acknowledge.
“The crew provided me with a car which was fast and reliable all season, and we were involved in fewer incidents than in previous seasons,” Bates said.
“Wrapping up the title this weekend was clearly a highlight but so was winning all three races at Clipsal for the third year in a row.
“Even though crashing out at Sandown was a lowlight, the Ash Seward Motorsport team did a sensational job of rebuilding the car and allowing me to win two races at Bathurst three weeks later.
“I am so proud of all the crew and this victory is a reward for them, as well as all my family and friends who have stuck with me through the good times and the bad.
“On track, my rivals made me work hard for every race win this year so congratulations to them on a great season as well.”
Round Results Summary – Round 8
Qualifying: 2nd in class, 13th outright
Race 1: 3rd in class, 15th outright
Race 2: 4th in class, 14th outright
Race 3: 2nd in class, 13th outright
Overall: 3rd in class, 15th outright
TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge Top 5 Points
- Tony Bates – 1101.5
- James Bergmuller – 1021.5
- Stephen Grove – 972
- Shane Smollen – 912
- Adrian Mastronardo – 870.5
Porsche Carrera Cup Outright Points
- Matt Campbell – 1156.5
- Alex Davison – 1014
- David Wall – 961
- Nick McBride – 925
- Steven Richards – 862.5
- Ashley Walsh – 664
- Michael Almond – 622.5
- Dean Fiore – 544
- Duvashen Padayachee – 475.5
- Dylan O’Keeffe – 415
- Fraser Ross – 395.5
- James Abela – 394.5
- Tony Bates – 369.5
- Garth Walden – 361.5
- James Bergmuller – 360
- Shane Smollen – 288
- Stephen Grove – 276.5
- Adrian Mastronardo – 253
- Marc Cini – 235.5
- Shane Van Gisbergen – 117
- Scott Taylor – 84