Dalton makes Winton his own
Lochie Dalton has made it three National Trans Am race wins from three after conquering an extended final race at Hi-Tec Oils Race Winton.
Much like the AWC GRM driver has been doing all weekend long, Dalton nailed the rolling start in Sunday’s final race to lead the impressive Cody Gillis, who found himself in familiar territory after two second place finishes already this weekend.
All American Drivelines Ben Grice was aggressive at the race start, attempting to make up the position lost to the series leader James Moffat in the second race but was unable to execute a move, having to settle behind the Team Valvoline GRM driver for the opening laps.
It remained calm at the front, as Phillip Island podium-getter Tom Hayman powered his way through the grid to challenge the top ten, while The Racing Academy’s Tyler Everingham was the biggest mover after gaining seven places to find himself in 11th.
The drama then started to kick off when Owen Kelly’s Ford Mustang was sent into a spin after a misjudgement from Supercheap Auto Racing entry Nash Morris – receiving a drive through penalty as a result.
No safety car was required as Kelly was able to recover and continue on, but the same couldn’t be said when Pioneer Dj driver Elliot Barbour found himself trapped in the gravel after fighting for positions with Tom Hayman, Brett Holdsworth and Tyler Everingham.
The safety car intervention tightened up the pack with six racing laps to remain.
Dalton controlled the restart, while Gillis was unable to hold off the valiant Moffat who moved up into second place.
But there was no stopping Dalton this weekend, with the Tasmanian completing the clean sweep in dominant fashion – two seconds clear of his teammate and direct title contender in Moffat.
Gillis was able to hold on in third to make it three podium finishes out of three at Winton ahead of Hayman in fourth, edging out Grice who did well to stay out of trouble all weekend long and tally some valuable points with a fifth-place finish.
It was an incredible comeback for Owen Kelly to finish in sixth after being spun early on in the race, but it was not the weekend the Tasmanian would have been hoping for as a whole.
The Racing Academy had a second driver in the top 10 with Elliot Cleary finishing in seventh, one spot ahead of Morris who also did well to recover after his drive through penalty.
Another driver forced to make an unplanned drive through the pit-lane after a penalty was Everingham, who made contact with Holdsworth after both drivers endured brilliant starts to the race – finishing in 15th and 16th respectively as a result.
It was a disappointing day out for Sydney Property Care GRM’s Edan Thornburrow who was forced to retire after an issue with the car.
The weekend’s results saw Dalton as the obvious round winner, finishing ahead of the very impressive Gillis and GRM teammate Moffat.
The National Trans Am Series will return at the next round of the Shannons SpeedSeries at the Queensland Raceway on 11-13 August.