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S5000 rivals in war of words, Mawson penalised

NATHAN Herne has been confirmed as the 2022 S5000 Tasman Series champion after Joey Mawson was penalised for the pair’s controversial clash in Adelaide.

Mawson and Herne entered today’s decider separated by one point, meaning whoever finished ahead would win the title.

That became a straight shootout when Herne passed Cooper Webster for second and set about hunting down Mawson.

Tensions boiled over when Herne attempted a Lap 3 move on Mawson at Turn 9, only to run into the back of the race leader who moved to defend under braking.

They then made secondary contact on the exit of the corner, putting Mawson out of the race and leaving Herne to limp home 13th.

Mawson has been docked 15 championship points after it was deemed he caused the initial collision.

That didn’t stop him, nor Herne, from ripping into one another post-race.

“I covered early to show him that I was covering the inside,” Mawson told V8 Sleuth.

“He still tried to have a sniff and then ended up cleaning up into the back of me.

“To be honest, I’m really disappointed. I’ve never had a good running with Nathan, he always does very silly moves.

“I can honestly say he’s one of the worst drivers I’ve raced against so I’m honestly just really, really disappointed and pretty frustrated.”

Mawson at the time did not rule out a protest but was not interested in discussing the matter with Herne.

“I don’t want to speak to him, to be honest. He never has anything good to say,” he said.

Herne took a vastly different view: “Look, it’s not the way I want to win it, I wanted a fair race.

Nathan Herne. Pic: Australian Racing Group

“I put on a pretty good move I thought, I did the same move to Webster and old mate just decided he’s going to try to DNF us both and take us both out which wasn’t really a smart strategy considering I was already a point ahead.

“I’ve raced against Joey for a long time and he does the same thing 24/7, you can read him like a book.

“Basically I planned before the race that I had to wait until braking and then move out, so I rolled out of it a bit early, waited for him to hit the brakes and moved in and then all of a sudden he has turned in which you can’t do.

“I was already committed – you can’t pull up on a dime – and just went into him. And then after the whole kerfuffle happened on the entry to Turn 9, he has come back on the exit and tried to take me out completely.

“It is what it is, we survived the attack and got the championship done.”

For Herne, it continues a stellar year in which he wrapped up his second Turtle Wax Trans Am title and made a successful international debut.

“It’s great to win the Tasman Series. I’ve always wanted to win something in S5000,” he said.

“S5000 I felt like is the one category that hasn’t defeated me but I really have worked bloody hard to even get to the front.

“It’s good for Valvoline GRM, we’ve had a pretty big year in terms of winning Trans Am.

“I had the two boys that helped me win the Trans Am championship coming to S5000, my mechanic (Tom Needham) and engineer (Daniel Frencham), and we won the S5000 as well. It’s been a good year.”

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