Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS – Round 2, Perth WA
The Johor Motorsports Racing team driver pairing of Prince Jefri Ibrahim and Richie Stanaway have secured the team’s first Overall podium of the year, after an intense two days of racing at the Perth round of the 2023 Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS.
Powered by Triple Eight Race Engineering, JMR team-mates Prince Abu Bakar Ibrahim and Jamie Whincup also enjoyed a productive outing with an impressive runner-up result in the weekend’s opening race on their way to fourth Overall.
Despite the two princes having no experience at Perth’s Carco.com.au Raceway, the first qualifying session proved the brothers are quick learners; Prince Abu posted the fifth-fastest time, with Prince Jefri hot on his heels in sixth. The second qualifying session saw the evergreen Whincup charge to a runner-up result, while Stanaway posted a sixth-fastest lap-time.
Saturday’s opening race saw both Malaysian Princes start from the third row, and they stayed well in touch with the leaders during the first half of the hour-long race, with Abu retaining the ascendency over his older brother, Jefri.
Seven-time V8 Supercars champion Whincup and New Zealander Richie Stanaway took the helms of the two cars for the second stanza, and continued to push around the Wanneroo circuit. After a spirited battle, Whincup crossed the line with a hard-fought P2 result, while a fast-finishing Stanaway, who set the second-quickest lap of the race in the 888 machine, came home just six seconds behind in fourth.
Sunday’s race saw the Pro drivers Whincup and Stanaway begin the race and maintain their handy track positions until the driver change. Prince Abu Bakar continued to lead his brother, but some contact in the second half of the race saw him receive a 15-second penalty, dropping him to seventh, where he’d eventually finish. Meanwhile, Prince Jefri continued to click off fast, consistent laps in a performance that saw the 888 car cross the line in P3, securing third Overall.
The third round of the 2023 Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia will be held at Phillip Island on 12-14 May. However, the JMR team will contest the opening round of the 2023 Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia at the Chang International Circuit the same weekend.
Prince Jefri Ibrahim: “I’m really proud of our result, and I’m grateful to be part of this amazing team and for the effort everyone has put in already this year. We enjoyed the weekend, the team is in high spirits, and we’re really pumped to come away with a podium result here. The Perth track was quite short and it was tricky to overtake, especially in traffic. It was our first time racing here and we learnt a lot about the track and how the car behaves on it.
Prince Abu Bakar had a great weekend also, and I’m proud of how he qualified and how he raced yesterday. The penalty he received in today’s second race is just part of racing, but we learn from these moments and will take the positives into the next round at Thailand. We’re really excited for Thailand – we’ve had two days of testing there and will be working hard for another good result and start the Asia series strongly.
Jamie Whincup: All in all, it was a really nice weekend to go racing. We didn’t quite have the pace of the front-runners, but these are great cars to drive and the track was really good. We had a bit of contact in the second race, but that’s racing and these things happen when we’re trying to have a go. There are lots of positives to take from this weekend as we head to Thailand in a couple weeks’ time.
Results – 2023 Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia, Perth WA
Jamie Whincup – P2
Prince Abu Bakar Ibrahim – P5
Prince Jefri Ibrahim – P6
Richie Stanaway – P6
Prince Abu Bakar Ibrahim /Jamie Whincup – P2
Prince Jefri Ibrahim/Richie Stanaway – P4
Richie Stanaway/Prince Jefri Ibrahim – P3
Jamie Whincup/Prince Abu Bakar Ibrahim – P7
Richie Stanaway/Prince Jefri Ibrahim – P3
Jamie Whincup/Prince Abu Bakar Ibrahim – P4
Championship standings (after two rounds):
- Liam Talbot/Max Hofer 75
- Yasser Shahin/Garnet Patterson 67
- Geoff Emery/Christer Joens 63
- Prince Jefri Ibrahim/Broc Feeney/Richie Stanaway 55
- Prince Abu Bakar Ibrahim/Jamie Whincup 50