Groves consolidate championship position at Bathurst

Grove Motorsport consolidated its position in the Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS series standings after Round 2 at Bathurst.

Stephen and Brenton Grove steered their newly-acquired Porsche 911 GT3 R around Mount Panorama for the first time in a competitive GT field over Easter weekend.

Qualifying took place on Saturday morning after a pair of 30-minute practice sessions to kick off the action on Friday.

The team worked hard to get the new car dialed in around the Mount Panorama Circuit ahead of a two-part qualifying session.

Stephen took the first session and managed sixth outright before Brenton went up against Supercars stars in Qualifying 2 where he put the car fifth.

Given how difficult it is to pass at Bathurst, the races were not going to be easy and a longer mandatory pit stop time compounded that.

There was a further setback in Race 1 when the squad was handed five extra seconds to their compulsory stationary time in the pit stop for a start infringement.

Once Stephen handed the car over to Brenton, the 23-year old pushed hard for the remainder of the race to recover a fifth-place result outright.

Race 2 was started by the pro-drivers and Brenton made up a position early as the field stormed up Mountain Straight, moving ahead of David Wall’s Lamborghini for fourth.

This proved decisive, as a safety car at the end of the pit stop window worked in the favour of other teams after an incident, but the Groves kept track position.

Grove Jnr. consolidated his position during his stint before handing the car over to Stephen who brought it home in the same spot he took the car over.

The father-son duo were the best of the rest considering the three cars in front of them all have Supercars drivers as part of their combinations.

“The weekend was pretty good. Brenton had some outstanding lap times, he really adapted to the car and the track and he was able to run for quite a while with the Supercars guys,” Stephen said.

“He ran with them really well and kept David Wall at bay so that was probably a highlight for us.

“The biggest thing at Bathurst for me is I’ve done all my racing in a Cup car and there was very limited practice on Friday.

“I didn’t go out in Practice 1, Brenton did, and I got in for Practice 2 which was red-flagged, so I only ended up getting four flying laps.

“Then we went straight into qualifying, so you sort of tend to go back to your Cup car roots with braking markers.

“I’m probably not dialed in with the car yet, but we’ll do a test day before the next round.”

The Grove pair sits third in the Pro-Am standings on 30 points after two rounds of competition.

Round 3 for Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS takes place at The Bend Motorsport Park from May 7-9.

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