Moffat continues Trans Am dominance on the mountain
James Moffat has continued where he left off from Race Sydney, topping both National Trans Am Series Friday practice sessions at the world-famous Mount Panorama.
The Team Valvoline GRM entry entered the final round of the 2023 season, Supercheap Auto Bathurst International with the series lead over teammate, Lochie Dalton – who also looked on the pace with two top-five classifications in practice.
However, while the story heading into the round is who would return home as the series winner, an up-and-coming star in Edan Thornburrow has stolen the spotlight with back-to-back second place classifications.
The Sydney Property Care entry has shown true pace around the mountain thus far, finishing seven-tenths of a second behind Moffat’s fastest time of 2:13.57 in practice one before coming within five-hundredths of a second to the series leader in the second running.
Finishing third in that second outing was Ben Grice, improving on fifth in the opening session and finding an entire second in the process.
While Dalton was able to claim third in practice one, he dropped to fourth in the following session despite improving on his time by half a second.
Cody Gillis and Tom Hayman were the only other drivers able to crack the top five in their respective sessions, while Tim Brook continued to impress after returning to the series under the Waltech Racing banner – collecting two consecutive sixth place finishes.
A driver who will be looking to improve on an uncharacteristic weekend at Race Sydney is Pioneer Dj’s Elliot Barbour, currently sitting in the top 10 fastest drivers on the opening day of action and within two seconds of the fastest time in both sessions – a feat only nine drivers can claim.
Another driver who impressed was American import, Robert Noaker with two top 10 finishes while tackling the mountain for the second time for Dream Racing Australia, after a previous appearance in 2022.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t a day to remember for Josh Webster after the Tasmanian brought out the red flag in opening practice and had limited running in the second session.
Zach Loscialpo put in the best time of the three newcomers in practice one, but it was Joshua Anderson who found the most success for the day with ninth in practice two.
The National Trans Am Series will next feature for the all-important qualifying session on Saturday, kicking off at 9:25am AEDT.