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Moffat closes in on Trans Am crown

JAMES Moffat has got one hand on the National Trans Am title after a superb performance at Sydney Motorsport Park.

It’s been a rollercoaster ride for Moffat, who’s led the standings almost all season, but just about dropped out of championship contention when he and teammate Lochie Dalton were belatedly disqualified from Round 3 at Winton.

That was then overturned on Friday afternoon – hours before Race 1 at Eastern Creek – after Garry Rogers Motorsport successfully appealed the ruling of a technical breach.

All of a sudden, Moffat was shuffled back up from seventh to first in the points and he made the most of the situation.

The 39-year-old won the first and fourth races of the Race Sydney weekend, and was second to Nash Morris in the middle two, to claim round honours.

With Dalton striking trouble in Race 4 in the form of a last-lap clash with Ben Grice, Moffat now holds a 78-point lead over Dalton; third-placed Elliot Barbour is a further 103 back.

It means the Tickford Racing Supercars co-driver should seal the deal at next week’s season-ending Bathurst International if he can keep his nose clean.

Meanwhile, the news of the GRM duo’s disqualification was met with angst on Friday evening.

“To be honest, I just think it’s a joke,” said Barbour, who had been installed as series leader before the appeal verdict reversed the disqualifications.

“The rest of the field have turned up with legal cars all year and then they just overturn the decision. It’s disappointing.”

Barbour particularly took aim at the situation whereby GRM’s head honchos are also the major shareholders in the Australian Racing Group, which owns the Trans Am series.

“It’s nothing personal with the drivers, they’re great drivers as it is so they would have been up the front,” said Barbour.

“It’s disappointing for the rest of us. We’ve fronted up within the rules for the whole year and then they haven’t and it doesn’t matter because they own the show.”

For his part, Moffat, who was called upon as a witness at the appeal, described the result as “natural justice”.

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