Reynolds joins the GT World Challenge Australia grid

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David Reynolds

Grove Racing’s David Reynolds has confirmed his place on the grid for the season opener Fanatec GT World Challenge Powered by AWS at Phillip Island.

The 2017 Bathurst 1000 winner will join Tony Bates this weekend in the latter’s Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II, which will be backed by C-Tech Laser.

It will be the first time the pair have raced together since 2016, having joined forces for a Pro-Am endurance race in the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia.

Reynolds is no stranger to GT racing, having made six starts at the Bathurst 12 Hours, five of them with Mercedes-Benz machinery.

However, the Supercars regular said he wanted more GT starts.

“I’ve driven GT cars from time to time, but I want to spend more time with them,” Reynolds said.

“I’ve done a few races in a Mercedes-AMG GT3, which I really enjoyed, but the Audi is mid-engined, so I expect it to be different and I’ll have to adapt my driving style. steering accordingly.

“It’s been years since Tony and I have driven together, and I love working with him and helping him get the most out of his driving.

“The last time we shared a car he won the Carrera Cup Pro-Am championship, so hopefully I’m a lucky charm for him.”

It marks a return to racing for Bates, who has not competed since May last year largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic and business commitments.

As it stands, Bates is only stuck for the first round, which will see him drive his Audi for the first time in its recently upgraded Evo II version.

The second evolution of the Evo includes improvements in aerodynamics, engine characteristics, air conditioning, suspension and traction control.

“The last two seasons have seen all kinds of disruptions with COVID and trade commitments, so I’m really looking forward to being able to fully focus on the race track,” Bates said.

“I am committed to doing the first round of the GT World Challenge this weekend and then I will assess my racing schedule for the remainder of 2022.

“We did some testing at Phillip Island a few weeks ago and I felt comfortable in the car straight away.

“We recently fitted the Evo II upgrade package to my Audi and I immediately noticed an improvement in stability when cornering at high speeds.

“Dave and I are good friends – apart from being an accomplished driver, he has a lot of fun off the racetrack,” he said of Reynolds.

“It’ll be a lot of fun having it in the garage, so it’s bound to be an enjoyable weekend.”

On Friday, GT World Challenge Australia will hold two practice sessions and two qualifying sessions.

Race 1 and Race 2 on Saturday and Sunday will both start at 1:45 p.m. local time/AEDT and will last 60 minutes.

Coverage of the Shannons Motorsports Australia Championships event will be shown live and commercial-free exclusively on Stan Sport.

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