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Title contenders collide in controversial S5000 decider

THE S5000 Tasman Series has ended in controversy after title protagonists Joey Mawson and Nathan Herne clashed in the decider.

Herne entered the Sunday morning race in Adelaide with a reduced one-point lead over Mawson after finding trouble yesterday.

The stage was set for a grandstand finish with Mawson starting on pole and Herne directly behind in third, with the title to go the way of whichever driver finished the final race higher.

Mawson survived an initial challenge from fellow front-row starter Cooper Webster to hold the lead through Lap 1.

The scenario got tastier when Herne found a way past Webster on Lap 2, the Garry Rogers Motorsport driver able to fully set his sights on Mawson.

That battle came to a head on the third run through Turn 9, with contact made as Mawson looked to defend Herne’s dive down the inside.

The contact was front-to-rear, although Mawson did cover relatively late, with debate set to rage on the incident.

There was secondary contact between the pair moments later, sending Mawson’s #27 airborne.

The two-time Gold Star winner was forced to park up, while Herne pressed on, albeit well down the order.

With Mawson out, Herne is the provisional 2022 Tasman Series winner pending any post-race investigation.

It follows the 2021 edition ending in controversy, Aaron Cameron hanging onto the title after being involved in a crash which triggered the Bathurst finale to be cut short with no points awarded.

It was Cameron who won Race 3 in Adelaide today after passing Webster at Turn 4 on Lap 9.

Webster took second from Blake Purdie, Jordan Boys, Noah Sands and Giancarlo Fisichella in sixth. Herne finished 13th.

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