Published on January 15th, 2020 | by Amirul Mukminin0
Bates Returns to Australian GT Looking for 2020 Title
Former Australian GT race winner Tony Bates unveiled a striking new livery and sponsor for his Bathurst 12 Hour return, just a fortnight out from the season opener, the experienced Audi campaigner also revealing that he will make a full-time return to the Australian GT Championship in 2020 after focussing on competition in Asia last year.
Sporting the colours of new sponsor Bostik – Bates revealed that he would be joined at Bathurst for the opening round of the endurance season by three-time Australian GT champion Geoff Emery, former rival and long-time sparring partner Max Twigg and rising star Dylan O’Keeffe, the quartet going after Silver Cup honours on February 2.
Fellow Audi driver Geoff Emery has been a standout in Australian GT over the last five seasons, claiming a record three consecutive ‘sprint’ championships (2017-2019) as well as his maiden endurance crown in 2019 alongside former Supercars champion Garth Tander. Bates and Emery have been almost inseparable for more than 15 years, starting together in Commodore Cup as rivals and then team-mates, before facing off in Supercars, Carrera Cup, Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup and Australian GT.
The fourth member of the Bostick 12 Hour team will be rising star Dylan O’Keeffe a driver Bates has had a close eye on since he first appeared as a 16-year old looking to establish himself in the sport.
The four drivers will be strong contenders for the Silver Cup Trophy at this years 12 Hour, putting them in good stead to kick off the 2020 Australian Endurance Championship, from which registered 12 Hour competitors will score points, but whilst Bates has not finalised his plans for the remainder of the endurance season, he has committed to the full six-event Australian GT Championship for the coming year.
Having made cameo appearances in Australian GT – both sprint rounds and endurance last year – Bates is hoping his 2019 experiences in the cut and thrust of one-make Audi action in Asia will also play in his favour.
With support from industrial and domestic adhesive manufacturer Bostik and his great array of supporters Bates is fired up about the year ahead.
The opening round of the Australian Endurance Championship as part of the 2020 Bathurst 12 Hour gets underway at Mount Panorama on Friday January 31, with qualifying on Saturday afternoon before the big race begins at 5:45am (AEDT) on Sunday February 2.