Moffat secures title in Trans Am thriller
James Moffat has secured the 2023 National Trans Am Series title in dramatic fashion, pipping teammate Lochie Dalton following a series of crazy events.
Entering the final race of the season with the series lead, all Moffat needed to do was finish the race to claim the title ahead of his Garry Rogers Motorsport (GRM) counterpart.
However, the situation was turned on its head when smoke was visibly exiting from the rear of Moffat’s Team Valvoline Ford Mustang following a safety car restart – the intervention a result of an earlier incident between Edan Thornburrow and Cody Gillis, with Dalton also caught up in the carnage.
The apparent mechanical issue forced Moffat into the pits, with his crew and engineers pulling all the strings to get the car back out on track to classify.
It was advantage Dalton, until carnage again erupted when a number of cars, including Tim Brook, Robert Noaker and Josh Anderson spun out at the final corner and ignited a second safety car intervention.
The race was ultimately finished under safety car conditions, confirming Moffat as the 2023 series champion.
“To do something like this is pretty special,” Moffat said post-race.
“It sounds good, its extra special to do it up her at Bathurst and I’ll look back at this one day and be very happy with that.
“It all felt until control until, it wasn’t pretty quickly. It was a big scare.
“I have the best team in pit lane, they were going to do anything they could to get me back out, I’m very fortunate.”
Picking up his fourth race win of the season was young Tom Hayman, staying composed throughout the entire weekend to avoid the drama and take the lead at the expense of Moffat’s issues.
Rounding out the podium places were The Racing Academy’s Elliot Cleary and Breeze Holiday parks Brett Holdsworth – a great reward for both drivers after a consistent weekend of results.
It was a fantastic race for I.C.L Racing’s Ben Grice, who secured fourth place ahead of Waltec Motorsports Brook – despite the latter being caught up in the chaos at the final corner.
Finishing in sixth was Dalton, who did well to recover after being forced into the pits following the lap one incident with Thornburrow.
The remaining places in the outright top 10 were occupied by some new faces, with the other I.C.L Racing entry John Holinger in seventh ahead of newcomer, Hugh McAlister.
Joshua Thomas would cross the line in ninth, while Mark Crutcher secured 10th.