Tom Hayman is ready to take his game to the next level in 2024 following a breakout rookie season in the National Trans Am Series.
Hayman made his debut in 2022 before joining the category full time this year, where he picked up two round wins in Queensland and Bathurst.
The season started on the back foot with a DNF in the second race of the season at AWC Race Tasmania, before a plethora of top 10 finishes in the following rounds started to exemplify the undeniable talent of the 19-year-old.
However, it was the fourth round of the season at Queensland Raceway where Hayman made his mark, not only picking up his first Trans Am race win, but clean sweeping the round to ultimately take round honours.
Hayman showed he had the pace to work his way to the front of the pack, however it was his ability to maintain the leading position and defend from those behind that started turning heads.
From there, Hayman would become a regular frontrunner and work his way towards the top of the standings – before taking the final win of the season in race three on the grandest stage of them all, Mount Panorama.
Following his Bathurst triumph, Hayman was thrilled to end the season on a high note.
“It was awesome to be able to close out the year with some good luck,” Hayman said.
“Going into the off season, you don’t want to be stewing on any bad results, so it was great to get my team that result to end the year.
“It’s been a dream of mine to race at Bathurst since I was a little kid to drive and get a round win on the national stage at Bathurst, it’s a dream come true, and I can’t thank everyone enough.
“I would put a single Bathurst win above the earlier round win, even though that was amazing and hard to put into words as a privateer team, it lives up to it.
“Our plan is to return next year in Trans Am and hopefully be able to fight for the title. Being our first year of privateers, it was difficult, but we found our way towards the end and got some good results.
“I’d like to thank all my supporters and sponsors for this year being able to get us out on the grid, it’s been huge for my career, and it’s been an awesome year and can’t thank them enough for getting on board.”
Ahead of 2024, Hayman explained that improved qualifying performances are the key to becoming a more regular frontrunner.
“It’s definitely really helpful to get our first year out of the way without many dramas – we learnt heaps and that has shown with the results and there is more to learn every time. Now we get top return to tracks we have been to, so it’s definitely going to help having the data there and we can use that to our advantage.
“The goal is to be able to prove that we are a team who can run at the front consistently, and for us that starts with qualifying.
“We really struggled there this year, we didn’t have a great year and if we were able to improve that I’m sure our year will be better all round.
“It was our achillies heel, I believe that I’m good in a race situation, so I need to improve in qualifying and trust the tyre against guys with so much experience.
“It is very small margins, we are not that far off and only a couple tenths in each session, but that can gain you three of four spots up the grid to being able to find them will make it very good for next year.”
The National Trans Am Series will return to the Shannons SpeedSeries calendar in 2024, kicking off with the opening round of the season at Sandown Raceway on 9-11 February.