Mercedes-AMG increased its advantage over Porsche at the top of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Powered by AWS standings, while Audi Sport made up substantial ground on the leaders, as Phillip Island staged the second round of the 2021 campaign.
The very first Fanatec GT World Challenge Powered by AWS event to take place on Australian soil was staged last weekend at the 4.4km circuit, one week after the global title battle commenced at Sonoma Raceway in the United States. Defending two-time champion Mercedes-AMG led from Porsche ahead of the contest, where each brand was represented by a single car entered in the Pro-Am class.
In race one Mercedes-AMG customer squad Triple Eight was second overall, while Porsche outfit Grove Motorsport took fourth. The Grove squad had the advantage in race two, finishing as runner-up while the Triple Eight car was classified third. This gave Mercedes-AMG a slender advantage over the Phillip Island weekend, extending its lead over Porsche to 77 points.
While there was no significant change at the top, the event saw rapid progress from Audi Sport. The Ingolstadt brand was not represented in the opening race at Sonoma, but its cars were out in force at Phillip Island and picked up a hatful of Fanatec GT World Challenge Powered by AWS points.
Melbourne Performance Centre swept the weekend in the Pro-Am class, netting 200 points for its manufacturer. Audi also scored a victory and a runner-up finish in the Am Cup class thanks to the Canon Foods squad, bringing its total for the weekend to 372 and moving the German brand to fourth in the standings.
Lamborghini continues to occupy third spot after picking up 120 points last weekend, but fellow Italian marque Ferrari failed to score after both of its cars were ruled out by accidents in the opening race. BMW and McLaren were unrepresented at Phillip Island.
The next Fanatec GT World Challenge Powered by AWS event will also take place in Australia, with the iconic Mount Panorama Circuit playing host on 2–4 April. The global tour will then move to Europe, with Monza staging a three-hour endurance race on 16-18 April. The Italian event will mark the first time that all seven brands have competed for points towards the Fanatec GT World Challenge Powered by AWS standings in the same race.