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Why Herne has chosen Dodge over Mustang

THE last two-plus seasons of Trico Trans Am have been utterly dominated by the Ford Mustang body shell – something Nathan Herne is desperate to put an end to.

Herne himself took the 2022 title in a Garry Rogers Motorsport Mustang before jetting off to the United States, clearing the way for James Moffat to win last year in a GRM Ford. Moffat also leads the 2024 standings after sweeping the Sandown season-opener.

TICKETS: Buy your tickets to Race Tasmania, Shannons SpeedSeries

Herne’s return from Round 2 next weekend at Symmons Plains will come as a privateer, driving the Dodge Challenger that powered him to the 2021 title.

For the 21-year-old, Dodge is at the core of his brand – even if the Challenger shell has its drawbacks.

“It’s a weird one, because over in America they all run the Mustang as well and I was begging to build up a Dodge body for me to race but unfortunately I couldn’t get it across the line,” he told V8 Sleuth.

“A lot of people say the Dodge can’t turn, that’s the biggest weakness of the Dodge: fast in a straight line but it can’t turn.

“For me, where it is, I think it actually loses a lot of rear aero, especially at high-speed it is very hard to stop a Dodge as well and the brake cooling isn’t that good.

“So now that I’m thinking about it, there’s not a lot of pros to running the Dodge but it just looks cool and it’s a different looking shell.

“If I ran in a Mustang and won, you sort of just look like you’re racing in Mustang Cup.

“When I raced the Dodge back in 2019 to 2021, even when I went over to America, Marc Miller who raced a Dodge in America, he told me he used to watch all of the Australian races just to see how that kid in the Dodge Challenger went.

“It sort of became a part of I guess my brand, so to be able to rekindle that is just going to be cool. And I just like the look of the thing, it looks bloody tough.

“Some people say it looks like a brick, but I reckon it’s a bloody good-looking brick.”

MORE: Long-awaited Superlicence in Herne’s sights

Symmons Plains will host Race Tasmania across March 15-17, with Trans Am joined on the Shannons SpeedSeries bill there by TCR Australia, National Sports Sedans, Tassie Tin Tops, and ACL Race Series Hyundai Excel.

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