Podium a surreal feeling for Tom Hayman
When Tom Hayman returned to normal life following his impressive run at Sandown, none of his co-workers at BCF Newcastle knew of his weekend exploits until the local newspaper completed a story and the cat was firmly out of the bag.
Hayman in just his second event in Turtle Wax Trans Am has never raced at Sandown before, but in the toughest conditions experienced in the category he outlasted many experience drivers to finish third for the weekend.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Hayman.
“It was halfway through the in-lap after the final race when my crew came over the radio to tell me I was third for the round and I was like ‘yeah, cool’.
“They responded ‘if you want to cruise up to the third place board’ and even then it hadn’t sunk in!
“It was pretty unbelievable to get out and see the car behind the third place board at our second round.”
After transferring from the Aussie Racing Cars to the Turtle Wax Trans Am Series at Queensland Raceway, Hayman experienced a baptism of fire.
Having not raced at one of the last remaining ‘old school’ type circuits previously, Hayman adapted quickly especially due to the chaotic weather.
“It was my first time at Sandown ever, but I did some simulator work and I found it pretty comfortable when I first got out there,” he recalled.
“Obviously the on-track differences like the bumps and kerbs all made it a bit harder as the conditions were tricky for not just us, but everyone. It was really wet and vision was minimal, but you just had to stay on the black stuff in those conditions, you just had to take your time, it’s better to do everything slowly.
“It’s hard to avoid incidents, but you just need to be alert, aware and you’ll get through it.”
It provides a good lead-in to next year’s campaign, with Hayman’s goals modest for 2023.
“It’s definitely helpful for me just in my confidence to enter next year coming off a podium, but we’ll still be new to the category,” Hayman reiterated.
“The first event next year will just be our third round, so we’ll wait and see, but we’ve got a benchmark now and if we can meet it as much as we can I’m sure we’ll go well.”