Team Australia’s FIA Motorsport Games campaign has begun on a high, with a mix of solid results across all disciplines on Friday in France.
Australia’s GT Cup
representatives Brenton and Stephen Grove got plenty of track time throughout the day, including the first of the discipline's Qualifying Race late in the day.
The pair crossed the line in eighth in the Grove Racing prepared Porsche, but ended the day in tenth after receiving a penalty for a driving infringement earlier in the race.
The duo will compete in one more qualifying race on Saturday morning, before the final race to determine the medal winners takes place on Saturday afternoon.
“We probably didn't have the cleanest race we would have liked, but there were some positive elements as well,” Brenton said.
"The main race is what we are focusing on and we have a nice tyre strategy going into that race, so fingers crossed we can be in a good starting position, stay out of the carnage and pick our way through the field."
Aaron Cameron, Australia’s Touring Car
competitor, took part in a single practice session under the setting sun at Circuit Paul Ricard.
Cameron ended the session in 15th, but his time wasn’t representative of his overall pace having had a number of his laps deleted for exceeding track limits as he comes to grips with the circuit.
“It was grouse to finally get the first few laps in and I had a ball in the Peugeot,” Cameron said.
“I’ve got to mainly focus on getting my laps actually counted... we’ll just keep working at and put it together.”
“Tomorrow is all about learning again, just trying to refine some sections. In turns one and two, there’s a lot of kerb usage. I swear I nearly rolled in that session, so I got to find a way to hit that turn two kerb without ending on my lid.”
, Australian Philippa Boquida has qualified for Saturday’s semi-final after finishing her qualifying race in third.
Starting from P3 on the grid, Boquida stayed within touching distance of the leaders throughout the race and will look to make further set up changes to advance through the field in the semi-final.
“It was a bit tough, I made a bit of a mistake with the setup of the tyre pressures. There was not a lot of grip on the back and I had so much tyre wear throughout the race,” Boquida said.
“The pace was good enough to stay in P3 which puts me in an ok position for the semi-finals."
Costa Toparis showed plenty of promise in his Formula 4
battle, with two practice sessions now under his belt.
Finishing the opening session in 11th, Toparis made big gains in the afternoon’s outing to end FP2 in sixth. An impressive performance given the majority of the field has raced at this venue whereas Toparis is making his Circuit Paul Ricard debut.
“For me the track is so long and so hard to learn, so to get up into P6 in two sessions is good,” Toparis said.
“There’s still lots of room to improve and I’ll work overnight to go up further and gain some more lap time. The balance is good, hopefully we can do good for the rest of the weekend.”
In the Karting Sprint Junior
discipline, Peter Bouzinelos qualified in fifth place, after struggling earlier in the day throughout practice.
Bouzinelos was thrilled to be able to post a competitive time and said he expected a fierce battle when the heats began on Saturday.
“I’m pretty happy with my end result,” Bouzinelos said.
“The (rest of the field) are really competitive, so let’s just see if we can put it in P1 tomorrow.
“I feel happy that I’m representing my country and representing the team.”
While in Karting Sprint Senior
category, Aiva Anagnostiadis had a tough qualifying after showing plenty of place in earlier practice sessions.
Anagnostiadis was 15th quickest in her qualifying session but was confident of making inroads on Saturday.
“We had pace in practice, obviously qualifying was not good at all, but we put our head down and bum up and hope everything goes well now,” Anagnostiadis said.
“There’s going to be a lot of going over everything, so it will be a late one but it will all be worth it in the end.”
Australia’s GT Sprint
driver, Matt Campbell, won’t be in action in his Porsche until Sunday, with the GT Sprint taking place as a one-day shootout, including practice, qualifying and the one-hour long race.
Australia’s FIA Motorsport Games campaign is being streamed live and free on 7plus throughout the weekend, with Saturday’s broadcast to begin at 6.45pm AEDT.
Click here to watch the FIA Motorsport Games channel on 7plus.