Moffat prevails as chaos erupts behind in Trans Am race one
James Moffat has converted his pole position into the first National Trans Am Series race win of the weekend, crossing the line ahead of Edan Thornburrow and extending his series lead.
It was an uncharacteristically clean start for the competitive series that saw Moffat lead off the line, while Thornburrow, Lochie Dalton and Cody Gillis followed closely behind.
However, the series leader struggled to pull away from a rapid Thornburrow – who has impressed so far this weekend around the world-famous Mount Panorama Circuit.
The leading duo looked comfortable up until chaos started to erupt behind, with multiple cars involved in an incident on the run up the mountain.
A spin for Zach Loscialpo saw the series newcomer blocking the circuit at the bottom of the mountain, with oncoming cars piloted by Ben Grice and Elliot Barbour unable to avoid the sitting duck of Loscialpo – both sustaining significant damage as a result.
The incident brought out the safety car, which was unable to clear in time for the chequered flag.
Despite the safety car intervention, Moffat was thrilled to convert the pole position into the race win and praised his teams’ efforts.
“It was a perfect day for us, In terms of the title battle, pole and the race win,” Moffat said.
“I am proud to be part of this great team, we had a GRM one, two and three in qualifying, as well as in race one. I’m humbled to be involved.
“I am very very happy; we will go back to work tonight make sure the car is in tip top shape tomorrow with two more races to finish off here tomorrow.”
At the time of the incident, Grice was running in the top five despite plenty of nervous moments along the way, but in the end, it was Cody Gillis and Tom Hayman who would secure the positions.
Narrowly missing out on the top five positions was Elliott Cleary, who will settle nicely in sixth after three-straight DNFs last week at Race Sydney.
Brett Holdsworth and Joshua Andreson followed Cleary in seventh and eighth, while American entry, Robert Noaker and Josh Thomas rounded out the top 10.
The fight for remaining places outside the top 10 was dominated by Masters and Hoosier Cup competitors, with Mark Crutcher atop of the Masters with an 11th place finish ahead of class rival, John Holinger.
The two Hoosier Cup competitors then followed, with newcomer Hugh McAlister again ahead of Nick Lange, with the latter able to make up a number of places after a below-par qualifying session.
The National Trans Am Series will return for another two races on Sunday, with race two to kick off at 11:55am AEDT.