Australian Matt Campbell has won gold in the GT Sprint
category at the 2022 FIA Motorsport Games at Circuit Paul Ricard in France.
Campbell’s victory secured a sixth-place finish for Team Australia on the overall Games medal tally and the Asia Pacific Trophy for the best performing country in the region.
Driving his Earl Bamber supported Porsche 911 GT3 R as part of the Grove Racing team, Campbell had earlier qualified on the front row for Sunday’s main race.
And from the race start, Campbell showed his superiority getting the jump on his Belgian opponent. He was able to hold the lead for the entire one-hour race, ultimately winning by 1.6 seconds ahead of Italy and Belgium.
Campbell was understandably thrilled to secure a gold medal in his last GT race before he moves into prototype racing in America.
“This is really cool, it’s nice to get the first gold and the first medal for Australia at the Motorsport Games,” Campbell said.
“It definitely wasn’t easy, the pressure was on the entire way and we also had to manage a few issues towards the end. We made 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 in every single session and then the race, we had the lead from turn one and was able to maintain, so a fantastic result.”
Grove Racing’s Stephen Grove, who was also captain of Team Australia for this event, was proud of what Campbell was able to achieve.
“It’s unbelievable,” Grove said post-race.
“I was so nervous, I was more nervous than if I had been in car. It’s just been a fantastic afternoon, he (Campbell) did well and led from the start to the finish and it was an absolute flawless drive.
“Overall, all the Australian competitors who came over here all put in an unbelievably good show and I’m proud of every single one of them and I’m proud of our nation to get sixth overall with 72-odd countries, it’s really great for Australia.”
In the other disciplines, Australia put in a strong showing across the weekend.
’s Aaron Cameron ended the medal race in 11th, impacted by a loss of straight line speed that had plagued his campaign all weekend.
In Formula 4
, Costa Toparis ended the feature race in 13th after starting from 19th on the grid.
Australia’s Philippa Boquida narrowly missed out on a medal, finish fourth in the Esports
Brenton and Stephen Grove, who completed their racing on Saturday in the GT Cup
in the same car Campbell won gold, finished seventh after a strong charge through the field from the rear of the grid after being hit during the day’s earlier qualifying race.
Australia was also in action in karting, with Peter Bouzinelos in Karting Sprint Junior
and Aiva Anagnostiadis in Karting Sprint Senior
Unfortunately for the pair, they both failed to finish their races after being caught up in incidents during their medal races and were forced to retire.
The pair showed plenty of pace across the weekend, impressing in a super competitive field.
The FIA Motorsport Games will next be held in 2024 in Spain.