Leading Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS team Triple Eight Race Engineering-JMR will double its GT3 efforts in 2022, starting at The Bend Motorsport Park this weekend.
The team will expand to include a second Mercedes-AMG GT3 to be shared by seven-time Supercars champion Jamie Whincup and Prince Abu Bakar Ibrahim – the younger brother of Prince Jefri Ibrahim, currently third in the standings.
For the first time in Australia, the Ibrahim brothers will race against each other, but it is a regular occurrence in the Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia powered by AWS where Triple Eight Race Engineering-JMR regularly enter two Mercedes AMGs.
Teamed with Jazeman Jaafar, Abu finished ninth in the standings this year and will contest his first race on Australian soil this weekend.
Prince Jefri, a regular in the GT3 racing here in Australia over the past two years, will be partnered by Broc Feeney at The Bend Motorsport Park this weekend before his regular GT3 co-driver Shane van Gisbergen steps back into his car at Mount Panorama for the inaugural Supercheap Auto Bathurst International.
The Bathurst International will see the Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS turn back to endurance mode for a three-hour race.
For Whincup, it marks his return to the category after filling in for van Gisbergen at Phillip Island for the opening round of Jefri’s campaign in 2021.
A previous Bathurst 12 Hour winner, Whincup has demonstrated his capabilities in GT machinery in recent years as he transitioned into managing Triple Eight Race Engineering and retired from full-time Supercars competition.
The Bend marks the penultimate round of the sprint component for Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS season ahead of Adelaide’s return in December.
Triple Eight Race Engineering
“With our racing in Asia wrapped up for the year, we’ve turned our attention fully to the remaining rounds of GT World Challenge Australia and that means running two cars under the Triple Eight-JMR flag,” said Simpson.
“Prince Abu Bakar has done a stellar job in his first full season of racing and we’re looking to capitalise on that momentum. He’s in very good company with Jamie Whincup as his co-driver, so it will be a good opportunity for him to learn.
“Prince Jefri is returning to Australia after sealing the Pro-Am title in Japan, so he should have plenty of confidence coming into the weekend and it’s a track he knows fairly well.
“He and Broc took a couple of podiums at The Bend last year and they’ve got a good chance of going a spot or two better this weekend.”