Nathan Herne takes last gasp win at Phillip Island
A late race safety car provided the opportunity Nathan Herne needed in his Team Valvoline GRM Ford Mustang to take victory in the Turtle Wax Trans Am Series opener at Phillip Island.
Herne was supposed to start second, but was penalised three positions for a red flag infringement in qualifying leaving teammate Owen Kelly to line-up alongside polesitter Ben Grice.
The All American Driveline and Auto Parts Mustang of Grice dominated the race as it was a tough battle for the remaining positions on the podium between Herne, Kelly and Nic Carroll in the Hogan Cars Dodge Challenger.
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In what was a robust battle where Carroll and Herne went door-to-door exiting Siberia as well as approaching the Hayshed as the Challenger took second at MG, however a suspected gearbox problem slowed him a lap later.
This allowed Herne to take second after contact with teammate Kelly elevated him to third two laps prior, while series leader Tim Brook was making his move in the Monochrome Wall Racing Mustang to be battling for the podium.
An off at Southern Loop for Dalton Ellery with six laps remaining required the safety car, which diminished Grice’s lead and on the restart, Herne took advantage as the former leader dropped out of the lead fight.
Herne led across the line to complete the race as Kelly just pipped Brook for second as Grice finished fourth from Kyle Gurton, Lochie Dalton, Brett Holdsworth, Nash Morris, Cody Burcher and Jon McCorkindale.
The sole retirement was Jackson Rice after a tyre deflated on the final lap.
Turtle Wax Trans Am Series action continues at 11:20am AEDT tomorrow beginning Stan Sport’s race coverage for the day.
The second round of Turtle Wax Trans Am will be part of the opening Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships event of the season at Phillip Island on March 18-20.
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Anyone wishing to attend the event is reminded tickets will not be available for purchase at the gate. Tickets must be purchased via Eventbrite prior to entry. Purchasing your tickets in advance will save you time at the gate.
All of the action will be broadcast live and on-demand on Stan Sport, with midweek highlights on the Nine Network’s 9GEM channel.