Trans Am controversy triggers rule change

The Trans Am rules technical rules in Australia have been changed following a spat over flexible bodywork.


The Garry Rogers Motorsport-run Ford Mustangs raised eyebrows at the recent Queensland Raceway round of the national Trans Am series when photos of the rear window bowing at speed surfaced online.

Runaway series leader Nathan Herne later admitted it was a deliberate ploy from the team to see if there was a speed advantage, the flex coming from roof struts that were left loose.

“Lochie Dalton’s car was formerly [GRM teammate] Owen Kelly’s car, which was one of the first dozen cars in the country,” Herne told The Driver's Seat podcast.

“That actually broke one of the struts in the roof, which sucked the roof down and we noticed that in onboard footage and thought ‘gee, wonder what is going on there’.

“So that was that car, that happened at Symmons Plains. After Symmons Plains we went on top of the car and we were pushing on it and when we were cleaning the car the roof sucked in – we thought, ‘here we go, there’s something there’.

“We looked inside the car, we saw the roof strut was broken… the roof struts are literally just a small little bolt and the roof was flimsy as flimsy.

“At the end of the day, there’s no rules broken at all from GRM’s perspective, it is what it is."

That loophole has now been closed by one of two Trans Am administrations in Australia.

The TA2 series, which operates out of Queensland, has informed competitors that: "All support struts, both internal and external, must not be loosened, adjusted, or manipulated in any way so as to create a change to the body shape of the car. All cars at speed must retain the relaxed shape of all body panels including windscreens".

The national Trans Am series, run by Australian Racing Group, is expected to follow suit and ban loose struts before its next round at Sandown in mid-September.

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