The Australian GT Championship will kick off its season with a 27-car grid as both Audi and McLaren enter factory drivers for the Clipsal 500 weekend.
After Christopher Mies spearheaded Audi’s attack down under for the last two seasons, his factory slot will be taken up by Kelvin van der Linde in Adelaide next week. The 20-year-old will join Geoff Emery – who returns after injuring himself in a crash in Western Australia last season – in the #74 Jamec Pem Audi.
“I am extremely excited to join Jamec Pem for the 2017 season. It has always been on my bucket-list to go an race down under. We go to a lot of great race tracks and street circuits, which will add to the challenge. We will be sharing most race weekends with the V8 Supercars and will join the opening round of the Formula 1 in Melbourne, which is super exciting for me.”
McLaren, meanwhile, has drafted in Blancpain Endurance champion Come Ledogar for Clipsal, the Frenchman reuniting with Tekno Autosports to join Fraser Ross behind the wheel.
Scott Taylor Motorsport will field two Mercedes AMGs, one for Craig Baird and Scott Taylor, and another from Max Twigg, who joins the Mercedes fold after racing a BMW last season.
Twigg will be replaced in the BMW Team SRM entry by James Bergmuller, the Carrera Cup regular making the switch to Australian GT to join Steve Richards in the factory-backed M6.
Tony Bates and Tony Quinn will both race Aston Martins, Bates in a Miedecke Stone car and Quinn in a Darrell Lea car, while Bentley will return to Australian GT with John Bowe and Melinda Price sharing the Heretic Autosport car.
Walkinshaw has also made a change in its line-up, with Liam Talbot to race its Porsche in Adelaide.
Australian GT – Round 1 entry list
|3||Bondi Wholefoods||Audi R8 LMS||Ash Samadi|
|4||McElrea Racing||Lamborghini R-EX||Tim Miles/Jaxon Evans|
|5||GT Motorsport||Audi R8 LMS||Greg Taylor/Nathan Antunes|
|7||Darrell Lea||Aston Martin Vantage V12||Tony Quinn|
|8||Scott Taylor Motorsport||Mercedes-AMG GT3||Max Twigg|
|9||Hallmarc Constrictios||Audi R8 LMS||Marc Cini|
|11||Objective Racing||McLaren 650S GT3||Tony Walls|
|14||Peter Major||Lamborghini R-EX||Peter Major|
|18||Heretic Autosport||Bentley Continental GT3||John Bowe/Melinda Price|
|19||Hogs Breath Café/Griffith Corporation||Mercedes-AMG GT3||Mark Griffith|
|23||JBS Australia||Lamborghini R-EX||Roger Lago/David Russell|
|24||Miedecke Stone Motorsport||Aston Martin Vantage V12||Tony Bates|
|29||Pirelli/Trofeo Motorsport||Lamborghini Huracan GT3||Jim Manolios/Dean Canto|
|44||Supabarn Supermarkets||Audi R8 LMS||James Koundouris/Ash Walsh|
|48||Interlloy M Motorsport||Lamborghini R-EX||Justin McMillan/Glen Wood|
|51||AMAC Motorsport||Porsche 997 GT3-R||Andrew Macpherson/Brad Shiels|
|59||Tekno Autosports||McLaren 650S GT3||Fraser Ross/Come Ledogar|
|73||Triffid.Bar.Venue||Lamborghini R-EX||Michael Hovey|
|74||Jamec Pem Racing||Audi R8 LMS||Geoff Emery/Kelvin van der Linde|
|75||Jamec Pem Racing||Audi R8 LMS||Steve McLaughlan|
|100||BMW Team SRM||BMW M6 GT3||Steve Richards/James Bergmuller|
|222||Scott Taylor Motorsport||Mercedes-AMG GT3||Scott Taylor/Craig Baird|
|777||The Bend Motorsport Park||Lamborghini R-EX||Yasser Shahin|
|911||Walkinshaw GT3||Porsche 911 GT3-R||Liam Talbot|
|15||Veloce Motorsport – ULX110||Porsche GT3 Cup Car||Keith Wong/Michael Almond|
|68||Michael O’Donnell||Porsche GT3 Cup Car||Michael O’Donnell|
|69||Koala Motorsport||Lamborghini R-EX||Brenton Griguol/Tim Macrow|