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Stoupas Leads Australian GT Standings After Round One At Sandown. (16.02.20)

Matt Stoupas, driver of the #23 KFC Audi R8 LMS, took victory in Race Two of the 2020 Australian GT Trophy Series to lead the standings as the ten-round championship moves to Sydney Motorsport Park for Round Two on March 6 – 8.

Australian GT Trophy Series runner-up in 2018, Stoupas was determined to get the season off to a good start and finished second in Race One behind Ben Schoots in his #65 SIN CARS AUSTRALIA SIN R1.

“I was out to win, no question,” said Stoupas, who began his racing career in 1999 with a fourth-place finish at the Poolrite GTP Bathurst 3 Hour Showroom Showdown in a Porsche 993. “Race One caught me out because I hadn’t started the car in the rain in probably three years and I got caught off the standing start, dropping back to sixth. I was quickly back to second behind Ben Schoots in the V8-powered SIN but although I had the pace on him, I just couldn’t get through safely in the six-laps allotted for that first race but I gave it everything I had.”

In Race Two, which ran for 40 minutes and 32 laps, Stoupas finished just over a tenth of a second ahead of Schoots in the SIN R1.

“That second race I was taking it pretty easy, to be honest,” said Stoupas. “I had the SIN covered and a safe margin to Wayne (Mack) in the Ferrari. The only drama was that late Safety Car which grouped the field with just one flyer left but there was no way I was letting him (Schoots) through, I wanted that win pretty badly.”

Photo: Australian GT Trophy Series

18-year-old Tayla Heath, driving the #29 Trofeo Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo EVO, had an impressive debut in the Trofeo Challenge division by taking class honours in the Race One. Race Two saw Heath spin to avoid contact but the young Tasmanian driver finished the race to leave Sandown leading the Trofeo Challenge standings by one point from Arthur Abrahams.

“I was right on the tail of the Porsches in front of me and looking for a place to make a safe passing move, but we caught lapped traffic and one of those cars had a big moment in front of of me veering off both barriers,” said Heath. “I did everything I could to avoid them, but unfortunately had a spin as a result which cost me valuable time but we made the finish and I’m overjoyed to have taken the Trofeo Challenge win on my debut in Australia GT.”

The Australia GT Trophy Series grid nest assembles at Sydney Motorsports Park on March 6 – 8 for a half-points round before travelling to Phillip Island two weeks later as part of the inaugural GT Sportscar Festival.