Pole and a podium for Brabham, Herne strong in US Trans Am

Nathan Herne continued his strong TA2 Stateside form, as he and Brabham delivered a strong Australian showing

Matthew Brabham has scored a podium while Nathan Herne finished fifth at Lime Rock Park in the United States, venue for the Memorial Day Classic.

It was Round 4 of the Trans Am Series and saw Brabham fastest in practice at the 1.5-mile (2.4-kilometre) circuit in Lakeville, Connecticut.

The Australian then drove TA Dyson Racing Gym Weed Ford Mustang (TA XGT SGT GT class) to his first series pole position in qualifying as the team celebrated the 40th anniversary of Rob Dyson’s first race, which was at Lime Park in 1983.

Brabham led the opening two laps of the 60-lap race before he was passed by his team-mate Chris Dyson. Brabham held second for more than 20 laps before an error on Lap 28 allowed Justin Marks (Trackhouse Chevrolet Camaro) to get by.

Marks had the lead when the Safety Car appeared after Tomy Drissi put his Mustang into a tyre barrier. With the resumption, Marks went onto victory by nine seconds over the Mustang team cars.

In TA2, it was a troubled run for the two-time Australian Trans Am title holder Herne. He was fourth in practice before the TA2 CUBE 3/Berryman Mustang’s engine blew in the qualifying. Despite the issue, the New South Welshman managed a few laps and qualified fourth (51.963s), only three tenths of Thomas Merrill’s pole time of 51.652s.

The team had to change two engines overnight, and barely made the grid before Sunday’s race.

Hearne struggled with the car bottoming from the start, and an off-track excursion at the last corner broke the #29’s front splitter. Once the fuel load reduced by mid-race, the Mustang came into its own, with Herne holding onto fifth until the finish, which came behind a Safety Car.

Round 5 of the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli is on June 2-4 as a support category for the NTT IndyCar Series  Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix.

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