Factory ace van der Linde to miss Australian GT finale

Geoff Emery will run solo in the Australian GT Championship finale at Sandown, after his season long co-driver Kelvin van der Linde was ruled out of the weekend due to a date clash.

Factory Audi driver; van der Linde currently sits third, and is the leading Audi driver in the ADAC GT Masters series standings, with round six taking place at the Sachsenring in Germany, on the same weekend as the Sandown Australian GT championship decider.

Together, van der Linde and Emery have claimed three pole positions, while van der Linde is the only driver to have won for Audi in the sprint format this season.

With just an 28-point deficit to championship leader Liam Talbot and the #911 Mega Racing Porsche crew, Emery feels that he can take the fight to Talbot and secure the championship.

“I’m excited that we are in the position to fight for the championship first of all,” said Emery.

“I’m going to enjoy the pressure over the race weekend, and do the best I possibly can.

“The pit-stops will definitely give us a good advantage, so I’m really looking forward to seeing what we can piece together.”

Troy Russell, the head of Audi Sport Customer Racing Australia feels that Emery driving solo will benefit them immensely when the factor of a shorter pit-stop time is added into the equation.

“There are three 40-minute races, and they are all on Saturday,” said Russell.

“So that’s going to be quite a busy day, and we can’t afford to have a DNF, certainly can’t afford to have any damage in any of the races because the turn-around time is so close.

“It’s Liam (Talbot’s) championship to lose, we’ll have the pressure on him and see how we do. Historically, over the last couple of years, the shorter races have produced AM/solo driver wins.”

Russell also confirmed that Emery will be one of four entries out of the Audi Sport Customer stable at Sandown.

Third in the championship, Ash Walsh will be joined by James Koundouris who sat out the previous round at Townsville, while Steve McLaughlan and Ash Samadi are also expected to field entries.

The final round of the Australian GT Championship runs on the support bill for the Wilson Security Sandown 500, with three 40-minute races scheduled on Saturday (September 16).

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