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Moffat on cusp of career-first

IT’S been 20 years in the making, but James Moffat is finally on the verge of his maiden major motorsport title this weekend.

Moffat will carry a commanding 78-point lead over teammate Lochie Dalton into the National Trans Am finale at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst International.

If he can convert, it will mark a first for the now 39-year-old, who came close to winning various national crowns in his early days.

The second-generation driver was runner-up in the 2004 Australian Lotus Trophy, third in Australian Formula Ford (2007), third in Carrera Cup Australia (2008) and runner-up in the 2009 Super2 Series.

He returned for another crack at Super2 the following year, shifting from Sonic Motor Racing Services to Ford Performance Racing, and again it was a case of close but no cigar (third in the 2010 standings).

Moffat subsequently graduated to the Supercars Championship and thereafter has never really featured in a title battle – until now.

He was a main game full-timer for seven years across stints at Dick Johnson Racing, Kelly Racing and Garry Rogers Motorsport, but generally lingered in the midfield besides the occasional standout result (headlined by a solo win and a pole position).

Since shuffling back to co-driver status, he’s juggled Supercars enduro campaigns with more regular seat time in another category.

First it was Carrera Cup in 2018 and then TCR for several years, before GRM switched him into Trans Am to fill the Ford Mustang vacated by Nathan Herne.

James Moffat at Sydney Motorsport Park. Pic: Trans Am Australia

There has been the rollercoaster ride of being disqualified from Round 3 at Winton and then having those results reinstated, but a big breakthrough now looms for Moffat.

With a maximum of 200 points up for grabs at Bathurst, Moffat can seal the deal simply by finishing all three races.

Indeed, he can finish last in the 21-car field in each race and that will still be enough, regardless of what Dalton does.

The only other driver still in mathematical contention is Elliot Barbour, who is 181 points off the lead.

Entry list: National Trans Am Series, 2023 Supercheap Auto Bathurst International

3OutrightI.C/L RacingBen GriceFord Mustang
4Masters CupCrutcher DevelopmentsMark CrutcherFord Mustang
6OutrightMcAlister MotorsHugh McAlisterFord Mustang
9OutrightAll American DrivelineCody GillisFord Mustang
19OutrightThe Racing AcademyElliott ClearyFord Mustang
21OutrightRacer Industries/Nuveau GroupKyle GurtonFord Mustang
23Masters CupI.C/L RacingJohn HolingerChevrolet Camaro
30OutrightTom Hayman MotorsportTom HaymanFord Mustang
34OutrightTeam Valvoline GRMJames MoffatFord Mustang
44Hoosier CupThe Tefol GroupNick LangeChevrolet Camaro
45OutrightAWCLochie DaltonFord Mustang
69OutrightTFH Hire ServicesJoshua ThomasFord Mustang
75OutrightPioneer DJElliot BarbourChevrolet Camaro
93OutrightWaltec MotorsportTim BrookChevrolet Camaro
99OutrightTPS Group/Breeze Holiday ParksBrett HoldsworthChevrolet Camaro
111OutrightTFH Hire ServicesJoshua AndersonTBA
116OutrightSydney Property Care GRMEdan ThornburrowFord Mustang
200OutrightDream Racing Australia/Auto FixJoshua WebsterChevrolet Camaro
211Hoosier CupTempest Solutions/Excelerate MotorsportsZach LoscialpoChevrolet Camaro
333OutrightDream Racing AustraliaRobert NoakerChevrolet Camaro
777Masters CupDream Racing AustraliaCraig ScutellaChevrolet Camaro
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