American Trans Am Tour: Nathan Herne’s COTA Diary #1
Nathan Herne’s adventure to the United States has started, and exclusive to the Trans Am website, he is filing a diary to keep you all in the loop on his progress.
Herne will compete in the final round of the American Trans Am Series, driving an Australian-inspired Ford Mustang for Stevens-Miller Racing, competing against 53 other cars at Circuit of the Americas in Texas this weekend.
After dominating the Surfers Paradise S5000 races, Herne flew straight to America and filed this diary ahead of his maiden international motor race.
“So it’s the morning of Day 3 of being here in the US of A, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t still jetlagged to buggery.
“I thought by staying up late Sunday night after the races at the Gold Coast I’d sleep the whole plane trip over and be ready to go for a 5am Monday morning landing in America, although all it done was make myself even more tired for the plane trip and I barely got a wink of sleep.
“But I’m here now and luckily I have a bit of time before I hit the track!
“It’s been bloody cool over here in the States, and driving has been the best thing so far. I don’t know how I did but I managed to get the driving duties off of dad (Stuart) and Cam (Sendall, TA2 tech guy from Australia), and it’s honestly like being on a racetrack here! I’ve already managed to make Dad car sick on some windy backroads, so I guess that’s an experience done (no speeding either, the speed limits are just a wee bit faster here than Australian ones!).
“I’ve been to a few shops, and they are mega. Unfortunately, the coffee and food is something I miss about Australia. I bought what I thought was a fruit juice in a can from the airport in San Francisco but ended up having a mega headache after half of it, only to look at the sugar and see 45g of it! I also had to get a Monster yesterday afternoon as there was no way I was making it past lunch time still awake without one – only for my heart to be sent straight to 6500rpm from idle after two sips of it. Slowly but surely I’m learning the process of elimination on what I can and can’t drink/eat.
“I met with team owner Joe Stevens yesterday at Gar Robinson’s house. There were a few of us who had a BBQ together and Gar cooked us what can only be described as an entire cow hanging off of one bone. And it turned out to taste awesome!
“It was good to meet with all the boys in a relaxed setting. I met Gar and John (Gar’s manager) when they came to Australia back in 2018, it was the Bathurst 12 Hour, I was only 16 then and went down to go to “help” out with some cars down there. So to catch up with them again was nice.
“They gave me a bit of an insight into how racing is over here, they knew all about the 2020 wildcard thing and everything that I’ve been doing since then, so it was cool to listen to what they had to say given they actually knew about me and what I had done in Australia.
“Today (Thursday) we are heading to the track to have a seat fit and all that fun stuff. I was meant to be hopping into the car tomorrow for an earlier practice session with another category, although a few people found out who I was so that’s now been scratched. There was talk about going to a simulator, then a bit of hire karting as well. So it’s all shaping up to be a pretty busy weekend.
“I’ll touch base with you all soon. Really looking forward to getting out on the track.”
Sunday’s race can be viewed in Australia via a live stream on the Speed Tour YouTube channel. CLICK HERE to watch.
The race will be broadcast on Monday, starting at 3:45am AEDT.