American-based Aussie racer Nathan Herne will make a spectacular return to home turf for next weekend’s TA2 Muscle Car Series framed by Hytek Steel Framing Kings of the North event at Darwin’s Hidden Valley circuit.
Herne will team up with New Zealander Paul Manuell in an all-international entry for the world-first twin-driver TA2 event, which has been boosted by a major cash prize.
A handsome sum of $20,000 will be awarded to the highest overall point-scoring driver pairing from the weekend’s six races, who will be crowned “Kings of the North.”
Herne and Manuell will take the wheel of Peter Robinson’s #10 Morgan’s Investments Dodge Challenger. Robinson, the founder of the TA2 Muscle Car Series and Australian distributor for TA2 cars, has handed the keys over for this event.
Herne, a former front-runner in Australian TA2, has been making waves in his rookie season in the American Trans-Am Series, with highlights including a second place finish in only his second race at NOLA Motorsports Park, and leading laps in the most recent round at Road Atlanta.
“I’m really excited to come back to Australia and race in the Kings of the North TA2 event,” Herne said.
“Peter Robinson has been nice enough to lend Paul and I the keys to his Dodge, so hopefully we bring it home in one piece and give it our best shot.
“It worked out pretty well. I was already back in Australia and it worked out that this opportunity came up so I’ve decided to stay an extra week to do this race before I head back to America and get back to working on my car in Michigan.
“I’m keen to get back to Darwin. I raced there in S5000 last year and the TA2 cars up there are going to be something different.”
Teaming up with Herne will be Paul Manuell, an experienced racing driver from New Zealand who brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the partnership. Manuell is also a TA2 champion driver, having won the TA2 Asia Championship in 2019, and a two-time champion of the NZ V8 Ute Championship.
Manuell also heads up the burgeoning New Zealand TA2 Series, and is working behind the scenes with the Australian TA2 Muscle Car Series to strengthen the Trans-Tasman links between each series for future opportunities.
“I’m thrilled to team up with a top driver like Nathan for the TA2 Kings of the North Races in Darwin,” Manuell said.
“I’m keen to see some data and I’m sure Nathan can teach me a thing or two. I’m really excited to jump on board and hopefully we have a good, clean weekend.”
Benalla Auto Club General Manager Stephen Whyte, who oversees the Hi-Tec Oils Super Series, said the addition of two international drivers is a feather in the cap for the series’ inaugural visit to Darwin.
“To have Nathan Herne flying in from America to drive with Paul Manuell from New Zealand is a big coup for the Hi-Tec Oils Super Series,” Whyte said.
“It’s very special for the North Australian Motorsport Club (NAMSC) and the Northern Territory motorsport community to have attracted a genuinely international entry to compete in a race meeting at Hidden Valley.”
Racing fans can expect an action-packed weekend with Herne and Manuell taking on the challenges of the series and vying for the top spot on the podium.
Broadcast details – Monday, 1 May
9:30am-12:30pm – Live streaming via Hi-Tec Oils Super Series Facebook page and website
1:00pm-4:00pm – Live television on SBS and Fox Sports/Kayo