Herne, Golding locked in for Tasman Series

Nathan Herne and James Golding at Sydney Motorsport Park earlier this year

James Golding and Nathan Herne will contest the upcoming S5000 Tasman Series for Garry Rogers Motorsport.

The announcement marks a continuation of the duo’s S5000 programme with GRM, having placed fourth and sixth respectively in the 2021 inaugural championship.

Golding won three races along the way, including two at Sydney Motorsport Park, which will host the first of two legs that make up the Tasman Series.

That round will fall on November 19-21 as part of Supercars’ fourth successive weekend racing at SMP, before the open-wheel category competes at Mount Panorama for the first time as part of the November 30 to December 5 Bathurst 1000 event.

“It’s awesome to have some races coming up and to jump back into the S5000,” said Golding, who’ll co-drive in the Bathurst 1000 with Team 18’s Scott Pye.

“It’s a fun car to drive and to drive it at two awesome tracks will be unreal. It’s great to be back with Valvoline and GRM – I’ve been hanging out to get back in the seat.

“The 2021 season was an up-and-down season for us. It was a short championship, and a lot of things didn’t go our way with some DNFs and some incidents, but we finished it strongly at Sydney Motorsport Park and that gives us a lot of confidence.

“We chose to try a few things with the car at the final round, knowing we weren’t attacking the title, to chase some speed out of the car heading into the 2022 season and it paid off.

“That event was really strong for us and we’re pretty confident heading back there this November.”

Herne similarly voiced his excitement at being confirmed for a tilt at the historic Tasman Cup.

“I didn’t finish the championship on a high in Sydney: I over-pressured myself and under-drove the car so I’ve had time to go back and reflect and do some study with the guys at GRM to improve,” he said.

“It’s going to be good going straight back to Sydney. It’s a track I know really well now and will be great to put into action everything I have learned straight away.

“The Tasman Series is an exciting thing and the fact there’s $30,000 up for grabs [for the winner] is a good incentive to work even harder.

“Racing at Bathurst is going to be incredible and it will be cool to be part of history in the making when S5000 races there. It’s going to be crazy.”

GRM could yet add a third entry for the Tasman Series, potentially for Luis Leeds.

“We’re good to go and really looking forward to the Tasman Series with Jimmy and Nathan,” GRM director Barry Rogers said of the Golding/Herne announcement.

“They had up-and-down seasons in the Gold Star championship but the way we finished at Sydney Motorsport Park was fantastic; to lock out the podium in the final race was a great reward for all the team who have worked so hard on this project.

“Jimmy is always competitive and will definitely be a championship contender. Nathan’s progress throughout the season earlier this year was great to watch and he’s as fast as anyone now so will be a threat.

“We are working with Luis and his people to try and get a deal over the line to see him return as well.

“As most people know, at GRM we love supporting the young drivers and Luis is a great talent, so hopefully we can put something together that will see him return.

“The team is really looking forward to challenging for the Tasman Series title; if one of our drivers gets the chance to put their name on the same trophy as some of those legends, that would be pretty special.”

Among those to have won the Tasman Cup are Bruce McLaren, Jim Clark (thrice), Sir Jackie Stewart, and Chris Amon.

Brad Jones Racing star Nick Percat meanwhile has expressed his interest in getting behind the wheel of an S5000 car at Bathurst.

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