Nathan Herne will race for Garry Rogers Motorsport in S5000 next season.

The teenager will run in two Australian Racing Group categories in 2021, returning to Trans Am with Dream Racing Australia, while also debuting in S5000 with GRM.

Long-time GRM sponsor Valvoline will back both programmes.

The deal comes after Herne was meant to drive GRM’s wildcard entry at the Bathurst 1000 in October, only for Motorsport Australia to reject his application for a Superlicence.

“It is great that we welcome Nathan full-time into the GRM fold for what both Garry and I are assuming will be many years to come,” said GRM boss Barry Rogers.

“We have made no secret of our thoughts on his skills. We tried to get him into our Bathurst 1000 wildcard, and even though that did not happen, we have not lost sight of the fast that he is a real talent.

“Garry and I have been very impressed with him, both as a driver and a young man, so we are pleased to see him join our team.”

Herne added: “To have the opportunity to represent Valvoline and Garry Rogers Motorsport in the 2021 S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship and the National Trans Am Series is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I’m absolutely stoked to get started.

“I’d never really considered open wheelers after Formula Ford, I was always looking at tin tops as I liked racing door-to-door, but after I drove the S5000 for the first time it was a massive eye-opener when I realised ‘okay these cars are made to race and they’re made to be a spectacle’.

“They’re not made to be a car where anyone can come and drive, they’re a real race car that rewards bravery and someone who can think ahead of the car and maximise the setup underneath them.

“Swapping between the hard and aggressive style of the Trans-Am to the smooth and precise nature of the S5000 will be tough, but if I didn’t think I was up to the challenge I wouldn’t have signed up for it, it’s a new and exciting challenge for me.

“This announcement is a massive instalment of confidence for me. Earlier in the year I wasn’t too sure where my racing career was going to go especially after the whole Bathurst debacle. I was still working hard at it, but for Garry and Barry Rogers to pick me up for their S5000 and Trans Am programme in 2021 has put the fire back in my belly.

“I’m more dedicated than ever to make the most of this opportunity.”

Herne is testing the S5000 at Phillip Island today, ahead of both the S5000 and Trans Am seasons kicking off at Symmons Plains in January.


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