Sandown Wrap: Herne seals second Trans Am title
Turtle Wax Trans Am Series
Nathan Herne has claimed his second consecutive National Trans Am Series title, with a race win and second place finish at the Sandown round of the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships.
The Lismore driver headed into the finale with a 23-point advantage after an action-packed opener at the Victorian circuit.
The decision to swap to wet tyres prior to the race paid dividends, as Herne charged through the field after a pit lane start to take the chequered flag five seconds ahead of title rival Owen Kelly, while Lochie Dalton finished third to complete a podium lockout for Garry Rogers Motorsport.
Rookie Tom Hayman finished fourth, while Cody Burcher finished fifth.
First-time race leader Eden Thornburrow eventually finished sixth, while Jon McCorkindale recovered from a spin to finish seventh.
Brett Holdsworth, Mark Crutcher, and Jack Sipp rounded out the top 10.
Kelly claimed victory in the final race of the season, as a cautious Herne brought his Ford Mustang home in second in tricky conditions, while Hayman picked up his first podium finish in the series.
Dalton finished fourth, while Elliot Barbour moved up eight spots into fifth.
Holdsworth, Thornburrow, Burcher, Carroll, and McCorkindale completed the top 10.
While the six points-paying rounds have been completed, the National Trans Am Series will next take to the track at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst International, set to be held at Mount Panorama from November 11-13.
Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters
Adam Bressington and Ryan Hansford picked up a win apiece in the points-paying races of Round 4 of Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters.
Round winner Bressington won Race 2 in the closest finish in TCM history, taking the chequered flag 0.024s ahead of John Bowe in his 300th TCM race start, while pole-sitter George Miedecke dropped to fifth before recovering to finish third.
Pro-Am class winner Tony Karanfilovski led home fellow class competitors Jamie Tilley and Andrew Fisher.
Ryan Hansford salvaged seventh after starting his 100th TCM race on wet tyres, with the returning Cameron Tilley and Ben Dunn next across the line, while Jim Pollicina recovered from an off-track excursion to finish in the top 10.
Hansford charged up six spots to claim victory in a shortened Race 3, ahead of Bressington and Fisher.
The Safety Car was brought out on the opening lap, after Keith Kassulke ended up in the sand trap in the final complex of corners on the formation lap.
On the resumption of racing, Hansford passed Bowe into third, before going around the outside of first Miedecke, then Bressington at Turn 6 on consecutive laps, to take the race lead by Lap 4, with the chequered flag waved on Lap 6.
Miedecke finished fourth, while the returning Steven Johnson moved up six spots into fifth.
Karanfilovski finished sixth to claim Pro-Am honours, ahead of Jamie Tilley, with Bowe in eighth.
Pollicina was ninth, while Cameron McConville moved up nine spots to finish in the top 10.
The Touring Car Masters Series next heads to Mount Panorama Motor Racing Circuit for the Supercheap Auto Bathurst International from November 11-13.
Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia
A second-place finish for Ryan Wood in the Enduro Cup race saw him claim victory in Round 3 of the Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia series.
Round runner-up Thomas Sargent won the final 40-minute affair, from Wood, while Lachlan Bloxsom moved up two spots to finish third on the last lap of the race.
A fourth place result was good enough for Courtney Prince to finish third outright for the round, as Sonic Motor Racing team-mate Harrison Goodman crossed the line in fifth.
Pro-Am round winner Brett Boulton finished sixth, with Tom McLennan in seventh.
Aron Shields, Jason Miller, and Matt Slavin rounded out the top 10.
Boulton claimed Pro-Am honours over Sam Shahin and Slavin, while Lachlan Harburg won for the first time in Class B from Jonathan Gliksten and Jacob Li.
Round 4 of the Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia Series will take place at The Bend Motorsport Park on October 21-23.
Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS
Garth Tander and Yasser Shahin won the final race in Round 3 of GT World Challenge Australia.
In a thrilling finish, Shahin took the chequered flag after only leading for three corners, from Liam Talbot/Fraser Ross, and Prince Jefri Ibrahim/Shane van Gisbergen.
Van Gisbergen started from pole, holding on to a tank-slapper entering Turn 1 as the conditions continued to worsen.
The difficult conditions saw van Gisbergen enter Turn 6 loose, as did Tander, Ross and David Reynolds, before the latter and Paul Stokell spun over the top of the circuit, resulting in the Safety Car being brought out on track.
The inclement weather and resulting off-track excursions saw the 60-minute encounter red-flagged with 38 minutes remaining on the clock.
Following the restart with eight minutes on the clock, the pit stop window opened with Tander filing in shortly afterwards, attempting an undercut strategy at a shot of victory.
During the pit stop sequence, Talbot got out in front of Shahin setting up a wild dash to the finish, with Talbot holding off a diving Shahin at Turn 1.
Van Gisbergen immediately responded, setting the fastest lap of the race with a 1:19.4335s, before pulling into pit lane.
Ibrahim left pit lane in the lead, from Bates, Talbot, and Shahin with less than two minutes on the clock.
Bates moved down the inside of Turn 6 on Ibrahim to take the race lead, before aquaplaning and going off in the final complex of corners, as Shahin claimed victory, ahead of Talbot, and Ibrahim.
Round 4 of GT World Challenge Australia will take place at The Bend Motorsport Park on October 21-23.
Australian Production Cars brought to you by Liqui Moly
Former Supercars driver Drew Russell won the one-hour endurance race for the Australian Production Car series.
The BMW M3 driver took the chequered flag under Safety Car, from Class X competitors Shane Smollen, and Beric Lynton.
Duane West was fourth, while Class A2 winner Chris Lillis fifth in his HSV Clubsport.
Grant Sherrin/Iain Sherrin were sixth in the Class X BMW M4, with Class A1 winner Jimmy Vernon seventh in his Mitsubishi Evo X, while Paul Razum/Darren Forrest charged from 22nd on the grid to eighth, despite having to contend with a drive-through for a pit lane infringement.
Class A2 competitors Ben Gersekowski and Andrew Miedecke completed the top 10.
Russell showed pace from the drop of the green flag, charging into the lead on the opening lap, before breaking the lap record with a 1:17.3690s on Lap 5.
There was trouble early on for pole-sitter Dean Campbell, who dropped down the order into seventh by the end of the first lap before retiring his Mitsubishi Evo X from the race on Lap 14 with a blown turbo.
The Safety Car was brought out minutes from the finish after Class A2 competitor Matthew Holt hit the track wall at the base of the bridge in his HSV Clubsport.
The heavy impact resulted in the wall folding, causing the Clubsport to be launched into the air and collecting the bridge, with a part of the bumper bar lodged in the bridge, two metres off the ground.
The crash led to the race being declared early.
Round 4 of the Australian Production Car series will take place at The Bend Motorsport Park on October 21-23.