JAMES Moffat has christened his brand-new Garry Rogers Motorsport Ford Mustang chassis with a cleansweep of the 2024 Trico Trans Am opener.
Starting the weekend finale from pole after winning the first two Sandown races proved crucial as utter chaos kicked off behind Moffat.
A Turn 4 lunge for third from James Golding on Todd Hazelwood ahead inadvertently turned around second-placed Jordan Boys and triggered a 10-car pile-up.
That represented two-thirds of the field, which had been reduced to 15 after Tom Hayman suffered an engine failure yesterday.
The only cars to get through the Lap 1 mess cleanly were Moffat, Elliott Cleary, Jackson Rice, Tom Davies and John Holinger, while Nash Morris and Elliot Barbour were out on the spot with heavy damage.
Morris did not hold back when interviewed live on 7mate.
“It looked like James Golding just bombed Todd Hazelwood and caused the world’s biggest shunt,” said the Supercheap Auto Racing driver.
“I know he’s a main game driver but I think he needs to have a good look at himself and understand why he caused such a stupid crash on the first lap of the race there. Just dumb.”
Morris doubled down by indicating such incidents could see him and his family team pull out of the category.
“I probably won’t be back if people keep driving like idiots,” said the 20-year-old, who is also contesting Porsche Carrera Cup Australia this year.
“It’s just stupid, that’s all I have really got to say. I like the category but it just needs to sort out some of that stuff.”
Golding was slapped with a 15-second penalty and was classified 10th.
Moffat, the 2023 champion, hung on from Cleary and Rice, while Tim Slade recovered to fourth.
Hazelwood’s afternoon went from bad to worse when he beached his #111 Mustang in the Turn 9 sand trap. He eventually limped home in 13th.
Meanwhile, across the ditch at Ruapuna, Nathan Herne replicated Moffat’s three-from-three effort in the TA2 trans-Tasman Challenge.
Heading into the second and final round next weekend at Highlands, Team Australia leads Team New Zealand by 179 points to 134 in the battle for the Jason Richards Memorial Trophy.