The Bathurst International was held this weekend, and boy oh boy it did not disappoint. For those who don’t know, the Bathurst International is a weekend with plenty of racing in a lot of different categories. So let’s look over the highlights from the Trans-Am and TCR Australia.
In the Trans-Am, Nathan Herne took the pole position for Race 1, and managed to hang on to it for a great win for him and Team Valvoline. He managed to hold off the Supercheap Auto of Nash Morris, as well as the TPS Caravans of Brett Holdsworth and the Garry Rogers car piloted by Owen Kelly. After a less than ideal practice, Benjamin Grice made a fantastic recovery and was in the top 10 by lap 3. However, the Safety Car was brought out for a spin by Zach Losicalpo at Murray’s Corner, where he became beached. At the end of Race 1, Nathan Herne took the top step of the podium, with Owen Kelly and Holdsworth completing the top 3.
In Race 2, Nathan Herne could not be stopped and stormed to another win. It was a front-row lockout for the Garry Rogers Mustangs, but an error from Owen Kelly at Hell Corner allowed Herne to pull away, with Holdsworth getting racy with Kelly at Griffin’s Bend. There was a shunt between the SupaFSeries Mustang and the Chevy of John Holinger at Forrest’s Elbow. Zach Loscialpo made a great recovery from last on the grid, crossing the line in 11th place. Herne took the second win of the weekend, with Holdsworth in second, but contact at the high-speed Chase corner between Morris and Kelly allowed Lochie Dolton to finish the podium.
In the Turtle Wax 100, Nathan Herne once again took the chequered flag to round off his hat-trick of wins this weekend. There were some mega drives, with Aaron Teb and Jack Sipp up 11 and 8 places respectively. Even though Grice was still recovering from a crash in Practice, he was challenging in the top 5 throughout. Lochie Dalton got a bit too confident at the chase, beaching his car and bringing out a short Safety Car period. On the final lap, Robert Noaker had to roll into the pits with power loss, with Herne finishing first, with Ben Grice in second and Nash Morris in third to round off a great race and a great weekend of racing.
In the TCR, the opener was a great way to start off this weekend. Young hotshot Bailey Sweeney met the chequered flag first. For most of the title contenders it was a race to forget, riddled with retirements and struggle. It was an eventful race, with lots of great battles in the midfield. Kangaroos brought out the safety car on lap 12, which bunched the field up for even more close racing. At the restart, King passed Cox into 10th position, which is essential for his title hopes. Hanson had a heavy shunt at Reid Park, but emerged relatively unharmed. At the flag, it was Sweeny from O’Keeffe and Morcom to round off the top 3.
Will Brown won the final TCR race of the weekend, but missed out on the title. That honour went to Tony D’Alberto, who took the 2022 TCR Australia Championship. Will Brown put in all the effort, with some spectacular overtakes to put himself in the lead, but D’Alberto managed to maintain 11th to give him enough points to clinch the title. There were plenty of battles throughout with a few scrapes and retirements. The top 3 were Will Brown, Bailey Sweeny and Josh Buchan, with D’Alberto taking the title by 2 points.
What a great weekend the Bathurst International turned out to be, but next year will definitely be even better! See you then!