Herne Delivers first GRM Trans Am Championship
September 21, 2022
A wild weekend in Sandown has seen the GRM crew walk away with a Trans Am Championship, and another two race wins in TCR Australia.
Proceedings were deceptively dry on Friday, before Saturday unleashed a heavenly drenching over the circuit which led to race 1 of Trans Am being cancelled.
The opening TCR race of the weekend did manage to get going, with four of our drivers outside the top 10 for the start thanks to a lengthy red flag period in qualifying. Aaron Cameron qualified in second while Dylan O’Keeffe lined up from seventh.
It was a crazy race which Cameron controlled from the start after a great getaway. A huge last lap battle saw the Valvoline racer fend off his attackers to take the win. Further back James Moffat rebounded from qualifying to charge from last to finish in ninth. Jordan Cox, Ben Bargwanna and Kody Garland all gained places as well while O’Keeffe suffered from a technical fault that forced him to retire.
Trans Am finally got racing on Sunday, with our trio starting from pit lane after a last minute call to start on the wet tyres. The rain increased and Nathan Herne, Owen Kelly and Lochie Dalton found themselves occupying the top three spots after some great drives through the field in challenging weather. The result gave GRM our first lockout of the podium in Trans Am!
Race two of TCR didn’t slow down the craziness of the weekend, with Bargwanna winning his first race in the series ahead of Cox after they both aquaplaned through the grass in the final corners. Moffat was unlucky to be taken out while in a podium spot, with O’Keeffe carving his way through the pack to finish in seventh from the back. Garland finished up in 14th, while Cameron joined Moff on the DNF list after damage in a concertina in the very same incident.
Trans Am wrapped up season 2022 and Herne claimed his second consecutive Championship in the series and his first with GRM, following on from his S5000 triumph in 2021. Kelly won the race, with a standout performance in arguably the worst conditions of the weekend. Dalton was running in the podium places again before he was caught out by the conditions and had a quick spin, finishing in fourth. Herne and Kelly deliver a 1-2 finish in the Trans Am points, with Dalton narrowly missing out on rookie honours in sixth.
The final race of the remarkably wet weekend saw Cox claim another podium, in third, and reclaim second in the championship with one round to go. Bargwanna came home in sixth, with Moffat and O’Keeffe passing many cars on their way to eighth and ninth. Garland picked up his best finish of the weekend in 12th while Cameron’s car could unfortunately not be repaired in time for the race.
Cox is now our only challenger for the title in TCR, sitting 56 points back in second. The season will wrap up at the Bathurst International, where Trans Am have a non-points round and where S5000 hold round two of the Tasman Series!