Herne heads to US for Trans Am campaign
Two-time National Trans Am Series champion Nathan Herne is set to compete in the American Trans Am Championship this year.
Herne has secured a seat with Stevens-Miller Racing, the same outfit he drove for when he made his US Trans Am Championship debut in November last year, where he finished fourth in the TA2 class in a field of over 50 cars at the Circuit of the Americas.
The 20-year-old will head stateside this month, where he will split his time between Indiana, where Steven-Millers Racing is based, as well as Michigan, where Howe Racing Enterprises is headquartered.
“It doesn’t feel real to be honest, I don’t know how to feel right now,” Herne bemused.
“It’s a bit of a pinch yourself moment to think I’ll be in the category in just under two months time.”
It marks a completely different career direction for Herne, who once had his sights set on competing in the Supercars Championship.
After starting his Trans Am career in the TA2 Muscle Car Series in 2019, finishing the season as Rookie of the Year, Herne was set to make his Supercars debut in the 2020 Bathurst 1000 with Garry Rogers Motorsport, only to be famously denied the opportunity due to having his application for a Superlicence dispensation knocked back.
From there, he went onto secure back-to-back titles in the National Trans Am Series for the squad that had backed him for a Supercars debut.
“Trans Am in Australia has been big for me,” Herne reflected.
“I couldn’t afford to go to Supercars – I never had the finances, so Trans Am was a lifesaver.
“The series has grown in Australia and you can see that it is making big strides.
“Personally, it is the category that has given me a shot at a career in the sport, where otherwise I would be out.”
While Herne hopes that Trans Am can be considered a relevant category on the pathway to Supercars, he said it can also open other opportunities.
“I just appreciate everyone’s help, and hopefully Trans Am becomes a pathway for young guys coming out of Formula Ford. Not everyone can afford the big-budget categories and I guess you can say I’m being a guinea pig for the guys like myself to push and break through the hurdles here in Australia,” he added.
“I think what I am doing proves that this is a genuine pathway for young drivers, the world is a big place and we do forget that, I never thought America was an option, and I was bloody stressed midway through the year about how I sat in the Australian motorsport landscape, although the Trans Am series has put me on this pathway, so I just have to sit down and strap in and see where this leads to.”
The 2023 US Trans Am Championship will commence at Sebring International Raceway on February 23-26.