Defending champ to use Sandown as kickstarter

Last year’s CAMS Australian GT Champion Geoff Emery is hoping to recreate last year’s success at Sandown to help kickstart his start 2018 season.

Emery won the 2017 championship with a nail-biting finale in New Zealand, where he trailed the leaders all season to win the penultimate race and just edge out Liam Talbot in the final race.

Unlike 2017, Emery has struggled to get a solid race in and currently sits in ninth position. A fifth place at the opening round in Albert Park and a 12th at The Bend is Emery’s current tally, which the veteran places on car troubles.

“Compared to last year, we have struggled with the car a little bit,” Emery explained.

“It is no where near as good as it was last year and we have been working on trying to find the problem.

“We think we have identified what the problem is, so hopefully this weekend we can get going and be back on pace.”

Despite his incredible record at Sandown, Emery as adamant that he isn’t distracted by the defending champion tagline, with this weekend just another race on the calendar.

“I have not raced anything else at Sandown since last year so I am looking forward to hopefully doing the same thing again. It would be good,” Emery said.

“I’ve raced at Sandown a hundred times so it’s just a matter of getting back into it.

“We will go through data and footage before we get going and analyse the whole lot. Start it from there.

“We won’t be treating it any differently – I always go there to win.”

While it’s still early in the 2018 season, a good result in the first race back at his hometown track since the famous victory would give Emery the chance to build on his current position.

“We’ve been running behind all year we haven’t had a strong round,” Emery said.

“We were knocked around at The Bend as well as the mistake in the pit stop which cost us a lot in the championship.

“I am hoping we can turn it around this weekend. So it’s back to square one again.”

Emery and the CAMS Australian GT Championship will compete in three races across the weekend as part of the Shannons Nationals at Sandown Raceway on 11 – 13 May.

The championship also welcomes the Trophy Class, with Tailem Bend featuring the Endurance Championship.

Sunday’s race will be available via the live stream on the Shannons Nationals website and Facebook page.