Five things to watch: Supercheap Auto National Trans Am
What more could you want? V8s, muscle cars and drivers hungry to win typifies this year’s Supercheap Auto National Trans Am in 2023.
Two-time winner Nathan Herne is now displaying his skills in America as he undertakes his first season overseas (actually beginning this weekend also. Good luck Nath!).
It leaves the title race wide open and the field for AWC Race Tasmania is a cracker featuring not just strength at the front, but depth throughout.
Here are five things to keep an eye on this season.
Probably the unluckiest driver in the field, if not the Shannons SpeedSeries.
Grice is one of the fastest in the field, there is no doubt about that, but whether it be a component going awry or being involved in another driver’s incident, he has been caught up in it all.
A clean run for Grice will be dangerous to his opposition as his title position last year doesn’t represent where he should have been.
Another area in Grice’s favour is stability with the second generation racer retaining much of the same structure as 2022, with the All American Driveline Ford Mustang set to be a contender.
GRM’S MIX OF YOUTH AND EXPERIENCE
Upping its commitment to four entries, Garry Rogers Motorsport is split evenly in its line-up through retaining Tasmanian duo Owen Kelly and Lochie Dalton, while James Moffat joins from the team’s TCR program as former Trans Am Series runner up Edan Thornburrow completes the roster.
Kelly finished runner up last year in what was a high pressure contest involving teammate Herne, but with him out of the way the experienced racer is close to favourite for the crown entering AWC Race Tasmania.
Just because Herne is gone doesn’t mean the battle is over from within, as Moffat finished on the podium on debut at Sydney Motorsport Park in 2021, so with form on the board he is a nice addition to the field.
Dalton and Thornburrow have both displayed glimpses, but have yet to log a victory. Will GRM add two young guns to its illustrious list of victories?
THE STAKES ARE RAISED
Two additions to the field for AWC Race Tasmania have raised the stakes through rising stars Tyler Everingham and Jaylyn Robotham.
Both are experienced racers considering their age and have already attracted a fair bit of attention once announcing their plans.
Everingham completed a successful test last week at Winton as he highlighted a couple of areas he needed to focus on heading to AWC Race Tasmania.
For Robotham, it’s a repeat of history as he raced a near-identical specification Trans Am in Asia where he winning multiple races and enjoying great success. This experience will serve him well in the Bushwakka Mustang at AWC Race Tasmania.
THE THIRD COMING OF JOHNSON
Jett Johnson is quickly emerging as one of Australian motorsport’s rising young talents, but he will need to take the next step to become a consistent frontrunner.
Johnson certainly took steps forward especially on home turf last year at Queensland Raceway, but will need to bring this form more consistently in 2023.
A year of Trans Am competition will provide Johnson with great confidence heading into his second campaign.
It may have been a controversial end to his season at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst International, but Brett Holdsworth marked himself as a contender after his first full-time campaign in 2022.
Another driver yet to win a race, this record is not expected to last for Holdsworth.
Again stability will be key as he remains at Ashley Seward Motorsport driving the same Breeze Holiday Parks, TPS Racing Group Chevrolet Camaro. Holdsworth alongside Moffat and Kelly ensure the experienced racers will keep the younger guard honest in 2023.
Don’t miss the start this weekend at AWC Race Tasmania.
CLICK HERE for tickets.
All of the racing action can be seen live and ad-break free on Stan Sport, plus free-to-air coverage on 9GEM (9GO! for New South Wales) on Saturday, February 25 from 2-5pm.