Nathan Herne unstoppable in second Turtle Wax Trans Am heat
Valvoline Team GRM’s Nathan Herne has continued his winning ways ahead of the Turtle Wax Trans Am 100 tomorrow by winning the second heat at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst International.
Herne fought off an early challenge from teammate Owen Kelly as Brett Holdsworth outlasted his rivals to take second from Lochie Dalton.
The two Garry Rogers Motorsport Ford Mustangs got an even start, but it was Herne leading the way exiting Hell Corner as Kelly ran wide allowing Holdsworth to challenge at Griffins Bend where the TPS Group/Breeze Holiday Parks Chevrolet Camaro around the outside, but this failed to pay off.
Behind, Morris and Grice were just waiting to take advantage of the smallest mistake, while towards the back end of the top 10 American Robert Noaker climbed five positions in the opening stages driving the Franklin Road Apparel Racing Dodge Challenger.
Grice attempted an outside move across the top, but thought better off it as GRM’s Dalton and Morris battled with Holdsworth for the final step of the podium.
Contact between the SupaFSeries Ford Mustang and John Holinger in his Chevrolet Camaro at Forrest’s Elbow dropped the duo out of the race.
Dalton meanwhile dropped position to both Morris and Grice as ahead Holdsworth continued to pressure Kelly for second.
Continuing his charge after his Dodge Challenger dropped a cylinder in the opening heat, Noaker was on the attack moving through on Dylan Thomas in the CXC Racing Mustang and attacking the back of the similar entry of Seven82 Motors-backed James Simpson.
Following his spin at Murray’s Corner during the opening heat, Team Tempest Solutions driver Zach Loscialpo was charging through in his Chevrolet Camaro to be 11th, up eight spots.
Herne continued to control the race up front, but Kelly was overtaken by Holdsworth on lap 5 early in the lap before Morris completed a move at Forrest’s Elbow. This led to a thrilling dice for the final podium slot, with
Morris spectacular driving sideways in defence from Kelly and Morris as Holdsworth built a 2s margin from the battle.
While Herne comfortably took win number two for the weekend as Holdsworth was second, but contact between Morris and Kelly at The Chase allowed Dalton into third.
Kelly crossed the line fourth, but was handed a 15s penalty for the contact with Morris dropping him to ninth. In turn, Grice was elevated to fourth from a recovering Morris, an impressive Simpson, Noaker, Loscialpo, with Mark Crutcher rounding out the top 10.
Contact at the final corner spun Thomas out of ninth as he crossed the line 12th.
Herne will start from pole for the Turtle Wax Trans Am 100 set to take place at 2:40pm AEDT tomorrow.
Catch the action live, uninterrupted and on-demand via Stan Sport.
Tickets are available at https://bathurst.international/
If you can’t make it to Mount Panorama, broadcast can be seen live and ad-break free on Stan Sport on Saturday and Sunday. Sign up now for your free 7-day trial >> https://www.stan.com.au/watch/sport/motorsport
The Nine Network will also offer live free-to-air coverage on 9Gem from 3pm-5pm AEDT. Check your local guides.
International viewers can watch on https://motorsport.tv/