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GRM steadfast in Herne despite Super2 driver offers

Simon Chapman

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Friday 25th September, 2020 - 7:00am

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Nathan Herne pic: Karl Phillipson Optikal Photography

Garry Rogers Motorsport has reaffirmed plans to field Nathan Herne in a Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 wildcard despite offers from Super2 drivers to take his place.

Earlier this month it was announced the Dandenong-based team would field Dunlop Super2 Series driver Tyler Everingham alongside TA2 competitor Herne.

However, the team has been knocked back by Motorsport Australia, which has denied Herne a Superlicence dispensation, thus preventing his Virgin Australia Supercars Championship debut.

This week Team Director Barry Rogers signalled he would fight the decision by Motorsport Australia.

Speaking with Speedcafe.com, Rogers reaffirmed his position that the team will not contest the Great Race without Herne.

“That’s what Garry wanted to do. He likes giving young people a go,” said Rogers.

“We first met Nathan when he was only 15 in Newcastle the year he did Formula Ford. Garry has always rated Formula Ford as his number one precursor to a Supercar.

“I know in recent years there’s been Super3 and Super2, but traditionally it was Formula Ford. His best drivers came out of the Formula Ford area.

“(Herne) was successful there and we kept watching him. That’s his inspiration behind it.

“(Garry) loved the idea of getting this young guy an opportunity who could never have got there if it wasn’t for Garry.

“His family doesn’t have the wares to do this. You read things; ‘Gulf Western Oil is paying’. Gulf Western aren’t even involved. We’re Valvoline. There’s no sponsor money there. There’s no nothing. It’s Garry wanting to do it. It’s seriously as simple and as honest as that.

“We’ve had every Super2 bloke on the phone that hasn’t got a drive in the main game ringing us; ‘Can we drive?’

“If we can’t do it this way, we won’t do it because that’s the way Garry wants to do it because he’s paying the bills. That’s how it happens.”

This week the team completed a two-day test with Herne and Everingham at Winton Motor Raceway.

With the team’s sole test ahead of this year’s Bathurst 1000 complete, Rogers said the team has begun looking for avenues to “continue the battle”.

Nevertheless, the team will push on with its plans as personnel go into a 14-day quarantine in anticipation of the Great Race.

“We’ve had some meetings in preparation to advance it further and hopefully it’ll come to a bit of a head early next week,” said Rogers.

“There’s no real update at this point. There’s plenty going on but not stuff we want to talk about.

“I would think there’ll be some things that come out next week but at this stage, we’re just doing what we’ve got to do.

“We are pressing on. There’s things in the pipeline. We’re organised from a team point of view. We’ve got all of our quarantine organised.

“The boys fly out on Monday. Some chose Darwin, some chose Sydney. We gave them a choice of what they wanted. We’re pressing on as is. That’s it.”

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