1 June 2024 | General

Hazelwood Takes the Provisional Honours in Wild Race One

Todd Hazelwood took the chequered flag first in the opening Trico Trans Am Series race at The Bend, but he may not be declared the winner.

Hazelwood snuck past polesitter James Moffat for the lead in the middle of a Safety Car being called, the yellow-flag period eventually running until the end of the 25-minute race.

The incident is under investigation by the stewards and the results from Race 1 remain provisional.

The drama was triggered by Lee Stibbs spinning into the gravel at Turn 11 with a handful of minutes left in the race, triggering a Safety Car.

At that point, Hazelwood had been working over Moffat for over a lap as the pair battled over the lead.

The live timing screens soon showed that a Safety Car had been called by Race Control, but the Safety Car boards and flags appeared to go out slightly later.

At the same time, Hazelwood passed Moffat as they arrived at Turn 11.

Hazelwood went on to take the chequered flag without the race resuming, conceding that, in the moment, he wasn’t sure if he’d gotten the pass done in time.

“I tried to wave him past up the following straight, but obviously he wanted to play silly-buggers,” Hazelwood said after the race, who also said that he wanted watch the vision of the moment to see if he’d made the pass in time.

Moffat’s view was that Hazelwood hadn’t.

“I’m fairly confident that these two cars might get reversed,” Moffat said.

“You can’t pass under yellow, and unfortunately for Todd that’s what he did.”

It had already been a dramatic race for Moffat, who led the early stages from pole before coming under attack from Nathan Herne.

The 2021 series champion attempted a move at Turn 1 on consecutive laps, but came unstuck on the second and spun down to sixth place.

“Was having a good race with Nath there and he had a lunge up the inside and we made contact,” Moffat said.

“We had to go off and damage the nose, that was a bit unfortunate; I’m not sure what happened to him.”

Points leader James Golding crossed the line third, but he was facing a 10-second penalty for inadvertently tipping his Supercars teammate Tim Slade into a spin at Turn 6 earlier in the race.

All of that promoted Jackson Rice to third place, while Edan Thornburrow avoided all the dramas to vault from 17th to fourth, with Herne recovering to fifth.

Jordan Boys edged Nash Morris to seventh ahead of a recovering Slade, while Elliott Cleary and Ben Grice rounded out the top 10.

Elliot Barbour ran as high as sixth before a mid-race off at Turn 1 that led him to pit with bodywork damage, falling to 17th at the finish.

The Safety Car hurt Golding, who was eventually scored down in 14th once his penalty was applied.

Even with the results still provisional, Moffat now holds a six-point championship lead over Golding, with Boys, Hazelwood and Barbour rounding out the top five.

The second Trico Trans Am Series race gets underway at 2:10pm local time.