5 March 2024 | General

The Two-Time Champion is Back – Herne Returns to Trans Am

Two-time winner of the Trico Trans Am Series, Nathan Herne, will make his return to the field beginning with the second round of the 2024 season at AWC Race Tasmania.

Herne’s return comes as a full privateer effort, with the 21-year-old putting together his own outfit to prepare and run the car. Herne also returns to the car with which he won the 2021 Trans Am Series title.

The Dodge Challenger bodied chassis has spent the time since Herne’s winning burnout at Mount Panorama in 2021 on display in the National Motor Racing Museum in Bathurst. Herne went on to claim another dominant series victory in 2022, driving for Garry Rogers Motorsport. Across those two years Herne stormed to 19 race wins from just 35 races, missing the podium just twice in that time.

Across 2023 Herne established himself as a driver of international calibre, as he competed in the TA2 Series in America. The maiden season overseas saw Herne take three podium finishes on brand-new circuits to the Australian driver.

Herne has finished on the podium in all six races he has contested at Symmons Plains Raceway, winning three of them. Symmons Plains plays host to AWC Race Tasmania and the Shannons SpeedSeries from March 15-17.

The Trico Trans Am Series will take in four races across the weekend, with all of the action live and free via the Seven Network.

Nathan Herne – #29 Dodge Challenger
“It’s been a rushed couple of weeks, we collected the car from Bathurst and haven’t stopped since then. When it rolled into the Museum in 2021, it was straight off the track and hadn’t even gone up on the jacks. I even pulled my data from the burnout and the final race while it was sat in the museum,” said Herne.

“I know the championship is a long shot, but I definitely want to come back and go straight to the top. The stuff I’ve learnt over the last year, the cars were quite different but there’s plenty of things I can relate in theory. The competition in Trans Am has stepped up to an extent, which is good, there’s more of those professional benchmarks – guys like Moffat, Golding, Hazelwood, and Slade.

“I’ll do a shakedown at Winton just to make sure everything works how it should, but then we’re straight into the deep end in Tassie. A lot of people say Symmons Plains is a drivers’ track, but I believe a lot of it also comes down to the setup of the car, if it’s just one percent off it’s very hard to make that up.

“I’ll be the crew chief, engineer, and mechanic in the garage at home. I have some guys coming to help out at the track which will take the load off but it’s very much a self-run effort. It’s an awesome opportunity to try and test myself off the track as well as on it. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, especially more so recently, as I think taking responsibility is pretty important to moving forward, and unfortunately for myself, if things go backwards there won’t be many others to blame!

“I think it’ll be a stressful weekend, but hopefully rewarding,” concluded Herne.