18 September 2022 | General

Nathan Herne wins action-packed Sandown opener

Nathan Herne has extended his lead at the top of the Turtle Wax Trans Am Series standings after an action-packed opener at Sandown.

After Race 1 was cancelled due to the heavy rain yesterday, Herne was forced to advance through the field after starting from pit lane due to changing to wet tyres, which title rival and teammate Owen Kelly did in addition to the majority of the field.

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This allowed Edan Thornburrow to hold a comfortable lead in the Sydney Property Care Mustang as he avoided the trouble at the opening corner where the Supercheap Auto Ford of Nash Morris clashed with Nic Carroll in the Hogan Auto Parts Dodge Challenger, with the former spinning.

A safety car was called on lap 4 after Carroll spun into the gravel trap at Turn 12 and Jason Hassett did likewise at Turn 2 in his Hass Racing Chevrolet Camaro.

Another to hit troubles, but during the safety car period was Ben Grice as the right front suspension had a failure while warming the tyres in his All American Driveline Ford Mustang.

Thornburrow still remained in the lead from Herne, Kelly and the DiPrinzio Concreting Ford Mustang of Tom Hayman in just his second event, while Garry Rogers Motorsport’s Lochie Dalton rounded out the top five.

Big movers in the pack were Mark Crutcher, John Holinger and Brett Holdsworth in his pursuit of holding third in the standings.

The race restarted on lap 9, Thornburrow was only able to hold Herne out until Turn 4 as the reigning series winner took the lead as Kelly desperately also tried to progress through.

Also, Hayman had a battle to hold off Dalton as the top five began to gap polesitter Cody Burcher in sixth driving the PBS Specialty Coatings Mustang.

Thornburrow began to fall back as Kelly and Dalton moved through leaving it a Garry Rogers Motorsport 1-2-3. Hayman also demoted Thornburrow to fifth as Burcher dropped him a further position on the final lap in a thrilling contest.

In the end, Herne took a comfortable 5s victory from Kelly, Dalton, Hayman, Burcher and Thornburrow.

Recovering from a spin, Jon McCorkindale for Dial Before You Dig in his Mustang took seventh ahead of Brett Holdsworth in the TPS Group Breeze Holiday Parks Chevrolet Camaro, the Crutcher Developments Ford of Mark Crutcher and the SupaFSeries Spares example of Jack Sipp.

The final race of the Turtle Wax Trans Am Series season is scheduled for 3:20pm AEST on Stan Sport’s live, uninterrupted and on-demand SpeedSeries coverage.