Owen Kelly takes Race 2 at Sydney Motorsport Park as series leader retires
Garry Rogers Motorsport driver Owen Kelly has won the second race of Round 4 for the Turtle Wax Trans Am Series at Sydney Motorsport Park under lights as series leader and teammate Nathan Herne retired after a mechanical failure.
Herne was leading the race by 2.5s as the event headed towards it conclusion, however slowed due to a snapped belt as Ben Grice took second place ahead of debutant Zach Bates.
Kelly made the best jump and led the angry bunch of Turtle Wax Trans Am Series entries through Turn 1, but Herne quickly made amends for his tardy jump to slide down the inside at Turn 2.
Behind, the Dial Before You Dig Ford Mustang of Jon McCorkindale moved into third ahead of the All American Driveline entry of Grice and the first Chevrolet Camaro of Breeze Holiday Parks Ashley Seward Motorsport driver Brett Holdsworth.
Herne quickly set about building an advantage to hold a 1.9s lead from Garry Rogers Motorsport teammate Kelly, while McCorkindale kept in touch.
Behind the top five, Sydney Property Care’s Edan Thornburrow led an intense battle group featuring debutant Bates, Supercheap Auto’s Nash Morris, Cody Burcher in the PBS Specialty Coatings Mustang and Elliot Barbour’s Pioneer DJ Dream Racing Australia Chevrolet Camaro.
However, a 5s penalty was to be applied post-race to Barbour following a start infringement.
A miraculous save from Morris exiting Turn 1 sent his Mustang across the circuit, but he recovered to not lose position. Herne also ran wide at Turn 2, but the margin he held enabled him to not drop the lead as he extended it back to 2.5s.
A feisty battle continued as Morris moved past Thornburrow, which opened it up for Lochie Dalton in the Up 2/11 Motorsport GRM Mustang to move through, as current series runner up Tim Brook continued his rapid progress to be seventh in the Andrew Miedecke Ford Wall Racing contender.
The race though took another turn as leader Herne pitted with a mechanical problem elevating Kelly into a 6.7s margin to Grice as Bates sat third on debut.
Another making swift progress through the field was Nic Carroll as the Hogan Prestige Cars Dodge Challenger into the top 10.
Jett Johnson also was making a masterful recovery into 11th driving the NAPA Auto Parts Ford Mustang.
Brook’s charge through the field was halted as he ran wide around Corporate Hill and dropped back to 11th.
Barbour’s race also ended after an engine malady due to the grass caught in the front bumper of his Camaro.
Kelly secured his second victory of the year by 5.8s from Grice, Bates in a stunning display rounded out the top three.
Dalton, Morris, Thornburrow, Burcher, Johnson, Holdsworth and Kyle Gurton in his Dream racing Australia Mustang completed the top 10.
Brook ended the race 15th ahead of Carroll.
Tomorrow’s final race for Round 4 of the Turtle Wax Trans Am Series begins at 3:30pm AEST live, uninterrupted and on-demand on Stan Sport.