NATHAN Herne has made it back-to-back Turtle Wax Trans Am Series titles after navigating a tense final test at Sandown.
Herne and Garry Rogers Motorsport teammate Owen Kelly entered the decider separated by just 19 points, and that margin would be unmoved by the end of the Sandown SpeedSeries action.
That came as the first of three races was washed out on Saturday afternoon; Herne then beat Kelly in Race 2 before the top two spots were reversed in the final leg.
“It’s pretty big, it’s my first time actually spannering my own car and running with it,” Herne reacted after clinching the crown.
“For the last half of that race after when Owen passed me I had my visor fogging up, the radio was beeping at me, the car was going off and I was like ‘oh god, this race just needs to end’.
“But we got through it and thank christ the car stuck together.
“We got it done. How good is that?”
GRM had come under fire following a technical saga that erupted in the days after the penultimate round at Queensland Raceway.
Between events, regulations were tightened to prevent any further occurrences of the roof/rear window distortions, but that did little to halt GRM’s dominance as Lochie Dalton completed a team one-two-three in Race 2.
“I guess the rear windows don’t make that much difference after all,” Kelly quipped after that encounter.
In TCR Australia, Tony D’Alberto consolidated his title campaign with a hat-trick of top five finishes.
His advantage now stands at 56 points over Jordan Cox with just one round remaining: the Supercheap Auto Bathurst International in November.
Will Brown scored the most points of all for the round, including winning Race 3 – just seven days on from his mammoth Pukekohe crash.
In Touring Car Masters, Ryan Hansford seized the points lead from John Bowe with victory in Race 3.
Another two TCM rounds are still to come, with Bathurst followed by an Adelaide finale.
As for GT World Challenge Australia, Shane van Gisbergen/Prince Jefri Ibrahim took the honours on Saturday while Garth Tander/Yasser Shahin won the Sunday race.