Tom Hayman is loving life as the newest National Trans Am Series round winner after a dominant weekend at Queensland Raceway.
The 19-year-old put in a clinical performance from start to finish, taking all three classified race wins only 12 months on from making his debut at the Ipswich-based circuit last year.
Hayman’s form this year has shown he is more than capable of fighting at the front, and after qualifying fifth, it wasn’t long before he was leading the pack in race two.
Having had little experience in the high-pressure situation of leading a race, Hayman kept his composure throughout the race, putting in a near-faultless performance to claim his first series win – a feeling he thoroughly enjoyed.
The teenager then repeated his efforts in the remaining two outings to cap off a memorable weekend, and whilst it wasn’t particularly the result he had in mind heading into the round, Hayman was thrilled to leave Queensland Raceway with the overall victory.
“It was a very surprising weekend for our team and we definitely weren’t expecting to end up where we were, but it was a huge accomplishment for everyone involved,” Hayman said.
“We were able to get a test day in up at QR before the meeting, which helped us, but after qualifying, everything just came together perfectly and we were able to be the quickest out there.
“We were all expecting to be fighting for a podium or a win come Sunday, but to be there by Saturday and win the race was really special for me, especially with it being just a year since I joined the series.”
Despite the lack of experience leading the pack, the New South Welshman was rarely headed and found a way to maintain a reasonable gap to second place.
“Tyre wear is very crucial in our cars, especially during the longer races,” Hayman explained.
“I was able to keep everything as cool as possible and start to push a little later in the race, I felt a lot of pressure on me, but it was a great chance to grow and learn how to control a race at the front.
“Everyone else behind me has a lot of credentials and they are all very quick, there is a lot of pressure that comes with it but I’m glad I was able to stay calm and find a way to keep pushing.
“Our car was fast but not perfect, I struggled with a bit of rotation so taking the extra curb was something I usually opt to do.
“I found taking the curbs helped pitch the car and be able to come out of the corner as straight as possible, and that helped me stay in front.
Hayman currently sits third in the series standings, and with only 49 points separating him and series leader James Moffat, it’s all to play for ahead of Sandown International Raceway next month.
“The title race sits in the back of my mind; we are up the front and I think it is on,” Hayman added.
“We take it round by round, race by race and we strive to be consistent throughout the whole year. As long as we keep doing that, we will definitely be thinking about the title race even more.
“I quite like Sandown. I got my first series podium there last year, so I have got lots of confidence going there, but I’ve got to be realistic.
“There is a lot of competition, you never really know where you are going to sit, but we will reset and go into Sandown with another top-five expectation and that we will come out of the weekend closer to the title.
“But ideally, I want to keep pushing for those round wins, that feeling was incredible.”
The National Trans Am Series will complete a quick turnaround when the series heads to Sandown International Raceway next month for the fifth round of the season on 8-10 September.