14 May 2023 | General

Morris edges Moffat in unforgettable outing

Nash Morris has converted pole position into a race win after holding off the rapid James Moffat in what was one of the closest finishes in recent history.

After claiming victory in race two, Morris maintained his position having starting on pole ahead of Ben Grice, who immediately applied pressure on the race leader.

All the while, Moffat waited behind Grice’s All American Driveline Ford Mustang for a golden opportunity to make a move.

The opportunity soon came on lap five, when Grice made a move on the inside of Morris but was unable to execute the corner exit, losing the positions to Morris and Moffat as a result.

Moffat immediately attempted a move on the race leader, having half a car length advantage at the corner entry before a brilliant late braking move from Morris slammed the door shut.

A safety car was soon after deployed when Tyler Everingham parked up his car in an unfortunate position at turn one, bunching the pack up as the race transitioned into a timed affair.

Morris controlled the restart, defending hard against Moffat who was looking for any possible opportunity to get ahead with only two minutes remaining.

Tom Hayman had a sniff at the lead on the penultimate lap, taking advantage of the intense duel ahead, but was unable to stay involved as it became a two-man race on the final lap.

Moffat attempted a move around the outside of the final corner, but was unable to execute as the pair went side by side all the way to the line – The gap of 0.047 being the closest in National trans Am history.

The win was Morris’ second of the weekend, who revealed it was one of the more enjoyable races he has been involved in.

“That was bloody fun, I’ve been missing good racing like this so it’s just great, especially against guys like Moff,” Morris said.

“That was probably one of the best races I have ever been in, the car was great so thanks to my sponsors and the team for getting me here.

“I thought I had lost it all on the final corner, but I just stuck it back in there and hoped for the best.”

Occupying the final place on the podium was Lochie Dalton, taking advantage of a mistake from Hayman to make the move up into third place.

Meanwhile, Owen Kelly also made the move past Hayman after storming his way through the pack after starting in 15th – making up nine places in only a matter of laps to eventually finish in fourth, with Hayman coming home in fifth.

The win assured Morris claimed the Phillip Island round victory, finishing ahead of Moffat and Hayman who was promoted to third after a late DNF from Grice.