MODEST BARBOUR TO RELISH TRANS AM TITLE SHAKE UP
Elliot Barbour enters the final two rounds of National Trans Am Series with a 21-point lead, bullish about his title hopes.
The 32-year-old currently holds the Series lead ahead of Dream Racing Australia’s Josh Webster on the standings, while Brett Holdsworth sits a further four points back in third.
The shakeup in the standings came after Motorsport Australia handed a penalty to GRM teammates and series leaders, James Moffat and Lochie Dalton, which saw the duo demoted to seventh and eighth respectively.
The result of that penalty sees the title race blown wide open, with more than five genuine contenders and a handful of other drivers still able to put themselves into contention.
While Barbour hasn’t picked up a win so far in 2023, he has enjoyed an impressive run of form, having picked up back-to-back outright podium finishes in Queensland and Sandown.
However, Barbour’s last visit to Sydney Motorsport Park proved less than ideal with two DNFs in three races.
Ahead of the final two rounds, Barbour was relishing the opportunity to lead the field and believed it was a token to the hard work from the team all year long.
“Initially, it was nice to find out we were leading. I wasn’t really surprised that there were penalties, but it was a silver lining for what has been an up and down year for us so far,” Barbour said.
“At the same time, there is a lot of racing left so I haven’t really thought about it too much – it’s the best position we can be in which is great going into the last two rounds.
“If you had asked me after round two or three that we were leading going into the last few rounds I would have said you were dreaming.
“But it is a token of the hard work that the team and the boys have put in, as well as the sponsors, so it’s nice to roll into these last two rounds in this position.”
While the scenario has changed dramatically, it will be business as usual for Barbour, who knew there are plenty of hungry competitors still in the fight.
“The back-to-back rounds was always going to be a challenge, especially for us as a small privateer team, so I think nothing is going to change – there are plenty of races to go and especially at Bathurst, anything can happen,” Barbour explained.
“I still have some things I want to tick off personally. I want to get a pole position and I want to get a race win so if I can get those done then hopefully the rest will take care of itself.
“Until we get to the last race of the year, I’ll be trying not to think about it too much.
“The GRM boys are always fast, they are in a great team with fast drivers, and I expect them to be up there and feisty.
“Moff turned me around at Sandown and that was before all this even happened, so I’m sure it will be hard racing, but I’ve got no problem with racing hard as long as its clean, fair and we will see who comes out on top.
“Those boys are still in it, Tom Hayman is often fast and there are still five, six or seven guys capable of coming out and taking it, we will see what happens.
“Hopefully come Sunday night at Bathurst, we will be celebrating.”
National Trans Am Series will take to the track at Race Sydney on 3-4 November before a quick turnaround for the season finale at Supercheap Auto Bathurst International on 10-12 November.