Michael Sheargold and Garth Walden have confirmed their entry for the final round of the AWS GT World Challenge Australia at next week’s Repco Bathurst 1000, in the RAM Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3, prepared by GWR Australia.
Sheargold and Walden each drove the car at Challenge Bathurst, before spending some more time in the car at a private test day last week. Both drivers were encouraged by the improvements, but are keeping their expectations in check for the car’s first race outing.
“We made good progress at both Challenge Bathurst and the subsequent test day, which has given us confidence to enter the GT round,” Sheargold said.
“I’m not going to Bathurst with any sort of unrealistic goals, but I’m a competitive person and I certainly want to keep improving.
“Working with Garth has been beneficial – he’s such an experienced campaigner and in testing, he’s been able to work on car setup while I’ve concentrated on my driving technique.
“Competing in the last GT round at Bathurst will be a good opportunity for the two of us to get our first race under our belt in the Mercedes, and get a feel for what it’s like to compete in a GT event without the pressure of a championship to worry about.”
Walden said the conditions at Challenge Bathurst were tricky, but the team still managed to gather some valuable data.
“The first day of Challenge Bathurst wasn’t too bad and we were able to give Mike plenty of time in the car while the track was dry,” Walden said.
“Unfortunately, the weather deteriorated and on the second day, one session was cancelled and in the other session, there were rivers running across the track in some places while it was completely dry in others, which made it hard to assess the car balance.
“Fortunately, the conditions were fine at the other test we did last week and we made some very positive progress with the car, finding a setup that worked for both Mike and myself.
“At Bathurst, the best race car is a safe and predictable race car; you don’t want a car that is going to do anything unexpected because at the top of the Mountain, it will bite you.
“We’re both looking forward to racing at Bathurst and there are no expectations or pressure – we just want to get through the event unscathed and tick the first GT round off our list.”
GT World Challenge – Bathurst Event Schedule
Tuesday, 30 November
10:05am – Practice 1 (40 min)
1:45pm – Practice 2 (40 min)
Wednesday, 1 December
11:50am – Qualifying 1 (20 min)
12:15pm – Qualifying 2 (20 min)
Thursday, 2 December
11:15am – Race 1 (60 min)
Friday, 3 December
8:55am – Race 2 (60 min)