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HomeNewsS5000 teen secures belated Trans Am debut

S5000 teen secures belated Trans Am debut

SOUTH Australian teen Brad Gartner will make his belated debut in the National Trans Am Series next month at Symmons Plains.

Gartner was set to join the V8-powered category last year at Bathurst before opting to focus on his S5000 commitments in Adelaide.

The 19-year-old has however got some frontrunning experience in the TA2 Muscle Car Series, and he’ll now transition to steering a MVA Racing Ford Mustang.

MVA Racing is led by Michael Vidau, the father of Max who sat atop the standings during the early stages of the 2022 Porsche Carrera Cup Australia season.

“AWC Race Tasmania will definitely be my debut in Trans Am, I’ve never competed in this series,” said Gartner, who will have Lee Stibbs for a teammate.

“We were due to do Bathurst, but I was sorting out an S5000 for Adelaide, as we decided to regroup, get some more miles in the car at Winton and make our debut at Symmons Plains next month.

“It was pretty surprising, I’d never ever driven a Trans Am car before, went up to Queensland Raceway and raced an ex-Chris Pappas Mustang to third on (TA2) debut.

“We went to Sydney and I scored provisional pole, but we had a mishap with the engine in the Top 10 Shootout forcing us to retire from the weekend. At Winton we picked up a win and finished second outright for the weekend.

Gartner in S5000 at the Adelaide 500. Pic: Australian Racing Group

“We’re very keen to get involved, Mike Vidau from MVA Racing and Lee Stibbs, my teammate, we are all excited to join the series to get a taste of it. We’ve been watching it on Stan Sport, so we’re pretty excited.

“It’ll be my first time to Tasmania, so I’m looking forward to racing there. Throughout the off-season Mike’s been getting the cars ready, so the pair are fresh for Tassie as we work on sponsors.

“In terms of driving the track I haven’t done much, I went to see Thomas Randle at Dream Simulation before I raced the S5000, but I haven’t managed to get there yet.

“It’ll be an eye-opener as it’s a very competitive series and it’s the next step, which we can’t wait to start.”

Meanwhile, the Australian Racing Group has commented on the cancellation of the Longford Grand Prix Expo.

The event was due to take place two weeks after Race Tasmania across March 11-12, celebrating the historic Tasmanian circuit’s racing history in the 1950s and ‘60s.

“ARG has been made aware of the cancellation of what was promised to be a significant and exciting motorsport event for Tasmania, and recognises this is an unfortunate situation for motorsport in the state,” said ARG executive chairman John McMellan.

“Anyone who made a financial commitment to attending or participating in this event can get a free fix of motorsport a fortnight earlier and just 15 minutes south of Longford at Symmons Plains Raceway, where they will see four excellent national racing categories at AWC Race Tasmania.”

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