18 September 2022 | General

Owen Kelly wins final race, Nathan Herne seals the title

Garry Rogers Motorsport’s Owen Kelly has taken victory in the second and final race at Sandown, but was unable to prevent teammate Nathan Herne from sealing back-to-back Turtle Wax Trans Am Series titles.

Herne had held the lead for much of the race until encountering a backmarker on lap 8 at Turn 4, which opened the door for Kelly as he safely moved past at Turn 6 to then build a comfortable advantage in the inclement conditions.

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Starting from pole courtesy of his earlier triumph, Herne led teammates Kelly and Lochie Dalton into Turn 1, with Tom Hayman in the DiPrinzio Concreting Ford Mustang maintaining fourth.

Back in the pack, Mark Crutcher was spun forcing two competitors to take avoiding action as the field streamed through on the outside of Turn 1.

Kelly was unable to do anything about Herne as he waited patiently for a mistake, but in fact it was a backmarker in the end where the opportunity as it became a race of attrition.

First, Dalton spun at Turn 3 elevating Hayman to third, then Jett Johnson in the NAPA Auto Parts Mustang went off track at Turn 12, while earlier Ben Grice tore the front right off his All American Driveline Ford.

In the end, Kelly took victory from Herne, Hayman, Dalton and an impressive run from Elliot Barbour returned fifth for the DJ Pioneer Chevrolet Camaro.

Brett Holdsworth sealed third in the title with sixth in the TPS Racing Breeze Holiday Parks Camaro as the Sydney Property Care Ford Mustang of Edan Thornburrow, Cody Burcher for PBS Specialty Coatings, Nic Carroll in the Hogan Prestige Cars Dodge Challenger and Jon McCorkindale’s Dial Before You Dig entry followed.

It completes back-to-back successes for Herne after winning the inaugural series last year at Bathurst.

Turtle Wax Trans Am will again visit the Mountain in a non-series capacity at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst International on November 11-13.