MEDIA RELEASE/Confederation of Australian Motorsport – Photo: supplied
The inaugural FIA Motorsport Games have come to a close, with Australia claiming two medals from its three entries – putting it second on the overall medal tally.
The brand new multi-disciplinary international competition saw 49 nations battle it out for six gold medals, with Australia claiming gold in the Digital Cup (Esports) and a bronze in the GT Cup.
Grove Racing capped off a brilliant weekend for the Australian team at the Vallelunga Circuit in Italy, claiming third place in the GT Cup after starting eighth.
There was plenty of hope in the Australian camp, thanks to Cody Nikola Latkovski’s gold medal in the Digital Cup on Saturday evening inspiring the rest of the team to perform on the final day.
Australia’s Formula 4 representative Luis Leeds almost made it three podiums from three, but he finished just outside the medal placings in fourth, having started eighth in his medal race.
Impressively, Australia, Russia and Italy were the only countries to earn more than one medal in total at the debut of the Games, with Russia claiming overall event honours.
Stephen started the feature medal race in eighth, and with rain lingering at the Italian circuit, the conditions were tough for all drivers.
Stephen made a terrific start to the race in a super impressive opening stint, as well as keeping things tidy. He pitted half way through the race for the compulsory driver change having climbed to fifth. From there, Brenton began his stint behind the wheel eager to continue the charge.
With the rain getting heavier in the latter half of the race, Brenton managed to hold his own in trying conditions, but the conditions were not favourable for close racing and eventually the safety car was called on lap 19 after the rain became too heavy.
Racing resumed two laps later and Brenton made his move – climbing from seventh to fourth before yet another safety car intervention on lap 22.
The pair were promoted to third after the Belgium entry in front of them was handed a drive through penalty for an earlier incident, leaving the Groves to spray the champagne on the podium.
Japan were the eventual GT Cup race winners, taking home gold ahead of Poland and Australia.
What they said:
“To come over here and represent your country, do it with your son and more importantly do it in a Porsche is just fantastic,” Stephen said.
“We’ve had a hard weekend, we’ve come here and had crazy conditions and we’ve been able to pull it together for third, it’s just outstanding.
“To represent Australia means an awesome amount to us both. We’re so proud that we were able to represent our country and so proud that we can bring something back to our country.”
“It took me a while for me to find my rhythm, but once the safety car period finished we were on,” Brenton said.
“I made a couple of good passes and others slipped up, so for us this result is awesome.”
“It shows just how strong Australian motor sport and what the future holds for us going forward as a country.”
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