Maiden title for Talbot
Liam Talbot goes one better than last year to claim his first Australian GT Championship.
Three drivers went into the Adelaide weekend with a chance of clinching the Australian GT title, but when the dust settled, Liam Talbot was the one with the trophy.
27 November, 2023
Going into the weekend, three drivers were within striking distance of the championship
In an exciting climax to the 2023 Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia, Liam Talbot has clinched his first Australian GT Championship, beating Geoff Emery and Yasser Shahin on the streets of Adelaide over the weekend.
Coming into the final meeting of the 2023 Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS, the three drivers were all within striking distance of the title. Talbot was seven points in front of his nearest rival, Geoff Emery also in an Audi, while Yasser Shahin (formerly Audi but now driving a Porsche) sitting back in third, but with plenty of points on offer to see any one of the three go home with the trophy.
Sharing in the driving duties for the weekend, three seasoned professionals were onboard the respective frontrunners’ teams, with Audi Sport’s Chris Mies joining Talbot, Max Hofer co-driving with Emery and Matt Campbell driving alongside Shahin.
The three leaders were inseparable in Adelaide, with the podium positions changing from race to race, but the names all staying the same. There was precious little between the Shahin/Campbell duo and Talbot/Mies, with little more than a second between the two teams for most of the weekend.
In the first of three races for the weekend, Shahin and Campbell drew first blood, beating Talbot and Mies to the checkered flag, only to have that result reversed in the second race on Saturday, effectively ending Shahin’s chances of pulling off a title win.
But that didn’t translate to the track on Sunday with the final race another thriller that saw the three main combatants once again trading blows and swapping the lead right to the end. In the showdown though it was the pairing of Shahin and Campbell that again took the checkered flag, this time with Geoff Emery and co-driver Max Hofer in second place with Talbot and Mies rounding out the podium places. But on points, that third position for Talbot was all that was required for him to take his first title and cap off what has been a stellar year for the Audi driver.
Geoff Emery’s second position in that final race also saw him take second in the championship overall, a fourth GT title eluding the Jamec Racing driver this year, but nevertheless, his result seeing him right up at the pointy end once again.
Audi also ended up on the top step of the AM Class podium with Brad Schumacher taking home the title. He finished fourth outright on the weekend ahead of Renee Gracie also in an Audi and debuting in the AM classification over the weekend. Gracie had already clinched the GT3 Trophy title at the previous round at Queensland Raceway.
Any podium position in the final race would be enough to see Talbot take the title
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