Melbourne Performance Centre has called on Audi Sport factory drivers Christopher Mies and Kelvin van der Linde to support its fight for the Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS title in Adelaide next weekend.
Favorite to take the title for the second year in succession is MPC’s Yasser Shahin, who holds a 11-point margin to Mercedes-AMG rival Prince Jefri Ibrahim of Triple Eight Race Engineering.
Shahin will rekindle his successful partnership with Mies after the pair took victory at the Bathurst season finale last year, before winning a race at the opening event at Phillip Island in March.
Mies is a previous Australian GT champion, scoring pole in Adelaide to kickstart his run towards the 2016 title.
His fellow Audi Sport factory driver van der Linde can also lay claim to an Adelaide pole, achieving the feat a year later as he partnered Geoff Emery for much of his championship-winning campaign in 2017.
Van der Linde will join Tony Bates in the C-Tech Laser Audi as he aims to climb further up the Pro-Am standings after missing the most recent round at The Bend.
“The main reason we have the factory drivers coming over is Yasser has mainly had Garth Tander partner him, but he has TV commitments, so then we looked further afield and Christopher Mies was an obvious choice,” explained MPC team principal Troy Russell.
“Christopher fits in with the team, he’s been to Adelaide and he’s a good fit with Yasser.
“Tony [Bates] is a bit the same as he’s had David Reynolds and Cameron Waters do a bit with him all year, but they’ve got their Supercars commitments, so again we searched overseas for drivers.
“Kelvin has been here as well and they both love coming to Australia, so it was an easy sell and they both are looking forward to it.
“We know are drivers are in safe hands and it’s great that we can bring guys of this calibre to the category and to the return of the Adelaide street track event.”
Liam Talbot is also in title contention, sharing the newly re-liveried Shannons Insurance Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II with Fraser Ross, completing the German manufacturer’s Pro-Am entries.
In what will be a strong Audi representation in Adelaide, KFC’s Gary Higgon and Paul Stokell will aim to secure the Am class title, with teammate Matt Stoupas in the fight to secure second.
Marc Cini also continues in his Hallmarc Am entry, alongside Koundouris brothers James and Theo in the Supabarn Supermarkets Audi, with further competition coming from category returnee Ash Samadi.
The fight for GT Trophy is also set to be an Audi battle as Brad Schumacher aims to defend the class win in Adelaide, but rookie Michael Kokkinos will ensure a closely fought contest.
For the first time this season, the the series will contest three 40-minute races across the weekend to conclude the 2022 campaign, which will see GT3 cars on the streets of Adelaide for the first time since 2017.