Team Australia won gold at the FIA Motorsport Games after Matt Campbell showed his class to win the GT Sprint race at Circuit Paul Ricard in France.
After threatened across days 1and 2 competition, the Australian team rose to the top thanks to Campbell’s victory.
The result secured Australia’s sixth overall Games medal tally and ensured the team was the most effective nation in the Asia-Pacific Trophy.
The Australian IMSA champion qualified Earl Bamber and Grove Racing, who backed the Porsche 911 GT3 R on the front row, and got a jump on his Belgian rival to take control at the first turn.
Campbell showed his dominance throughout the hour-long race, leading every lap, holding off the Italian and Belgian cars by 1.6s.
Matt Campbell cruised to victory to claim Australia’s first gold medal at the FIA Motorsport Games. Image: Included
Reflecting on the victory, the Porsche factory star was delighted to have won the gold.
“It’s really cool, it’s great to get Australia’s first gold and first medal at the Motorsport Games,” Campbell said.
“It was definitely not easy, the pressure was on all the way and we also had to solve a few problems towards the end. We did it last but the gap was closing at the end, luckily I didn’t make any mistakes and got the job done.
“It was a fantastic event, a fantastic day – we basically improved every session and then in the race, we led from the first corner and were able to hold on, so a fantastic result.”
Australia captain Stephen Grove celebrates with Matt Campbell. Image: Included
Team Australia captain Stephen Grove was proud of what Campbell was able to achieve.
“It’s unbelievable,” Grove said after the race.
“I was so nervous, more nervous than if I was in the car. It was just a fantastic day, he (Campbell) performed well and led from start to finish and it was an absolutely flawless drive.
“Overall, all the Australian competitors that came here put on an incredibly good show and I’m proud of each and every one of them, and I’m proud that our country came sixth out of 72-plus countries, it’s really great for Australia.”
Brenton and Stephen Grove, who completed their GT Cup race on Saturday in the same car that won Campbell’s gold, finished seventh after hitting the field hard from the back of the grid after a hit in the day’s previous qualifying race.
Supercheap Auto TCR Australia competitor Aaron Cameron struggled all weekend. Photo: SRO – FIA Motorsport Games
In the Touring Car category, Aaron Cameron continued to struggle with straight speed issues and finished the medal race in 11th place.
Young shooter Kosta Toparis was able to work his way up to 13th after starting 19th in the Formula 4 race.
Australia narrowly missed out on another eSports medal, with Philippa Bakido coming home fourth.
Peter Businelos and Aiva Anagnastiadis competed in the Karting Sprint Junior and Karting Sprint Senior respectively, but both failed to finish.