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Herne opens up on American dream

TRANS Am sensation Nathan Herne hopes he won’t have to wait too long for his next chance to showcase his skills Stateside.

The Lismore product finished fourth in a field of 50-plus cars on his American TA2 debut last weekend at Circuit of The Americas.

Opening up via a post-race diary on the Australian Trans Am website, Herne did not shy away from the eye-opening experience.

“Damn, out of all of the racing I’ve ever done in my life, this American TA2 stuff – this is real motorsport,” he wrote.

Herne charged from 12th on the grid to third within four laps, and enjoyed the aggressive racing throughout.

“I was just stuck behind (eventual second-place finisher) Connor Zilisch.

“I really, really stuffed up at one point and made a move but wasn’t aggressive enough to cut him off.

“I basically done an Australian pass and not an American pass, and trust me, there’s a difference!

“On every restart after that, there was a Canadian/Russian bloke called Misha Goikhberg, who every time would not get out of my left rear.

“I tried everything to get Connor on the restarts and at one stage had him around the outside. Until Misha came flying in and nearly took me out by spinning me in front of the field.”

Entering the dying stages, Herne had a comfortable grasp on third – only to end up just holding onto fourth.

“I had a huge gap to P4, and an all but guaranteed podium,” he reflected.

“But I just couldn’t keep the thing off of the oil, I’d either hit it on entry or hit it on exit as I couldn’t rotate enough to avoid it.

“I hit the oil big time going passed a lap car and then we went three wide down the back straight and I got dropped to fifth. I only managed to get P4 back by .001 seconds at the line!

“At the end of the day, I’ve learnt so much from being over here and met so many cool people. I’ve definitely gotten the taste for it over here (just not on the food) and would be back tomorrow if I got the opportunity.”

For now, Herne has two key events on home soil to focus on: the Turtle Wax Trans Am 100 this weekend at Bathurst, and the S5000 Tasman Series decider next month in Adelaide.

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