Moffat enforces title credentials with Sandown sweep
AFTER several rounds on the back foot, James Moffat has entrenched himself at the top of the Trans Am National Series standings thanks to a clean sweep of wins at Sandown.
Moffat survived a turn one moment with Elliot Barbour to power away from the action-packed field to claim victory in race three, over Lochie Dalton and Cody Gillis – who charged from 13th position to the top three.
It was Moffat’s fifth race win of the year and his 11th top three finish – and his second round win overall so far this season.
“This is as close to a home round as it gets for me,” Moffat said.
“I came here as kid sitting in that grandstand watching the Sandown 500 so it’s always pretty special to race here, yet alone get a result like that.”
Overall, Moffat won the round over Lochie Dalton and Elliot Barbour to entrench himself at the top of the points with two rounds – at Race Sydney and the Supercheap Auto Bathurst International – to come.
The opening laps of the final round were as action packed as ever with the most controversial moment the contact between Moffat and Barbour.
The latter had won the start and led the field as they approached turn one, with Moffat looking down the inside under brakes.
There was contact between the pair, turning Barbour off the road to the outfield and seeing him tumble down the order.
The Pioneer DJ car would ultimately recover to sixth position to ensure that he was able to secure his spot on the outright podium for the second consecutive round.
Brett Holdsworth worked his way to second through the opening lap theatrics, and held that spot despite great pressure until Dalton slipped past on lap five and Gillis two laps later.
Tom Hayman was an early casualty with his Mustang out after three laps following the combat in the opening laps.
Holdsworth then headed a freight train that included a resurgent Ben Grice, who passed Holdworth four laps from home to get to fourth position.
Nash Morris charged his way to fifth, Barbour finished sixth while Holdsworth was out of rubber and hanging on to seventh at the end.
Nick Lange, Chris Pappas and Elly Morrow completed the top-10.
Four cars failed to finish the bruising affair; Edan Thornburrow, Tom Hayman, Elliott Cleary and Lee Stibbs all failed to finish.
The national Trans Am Series returns to the track at Race Sydney Under Lights this November, followed by the grand finale’ at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst International a week later.