Haynes returns to victory lane as Johnson encounters trouble in Sydney
Josh Haynes has scored his second win of the 2022 TA2 Muscle Car Series framed by Hytek after a commanding lights-to-flag victory in Race 1 at Sydney Motorsport Park.
Qualifying saw championship leader Jett Johnson bring out the red flag after an off-track excursion in the NAPA Auto Parts Mustang at Turn 1 on the first flying lap, as second-round starter Brad Gartner scored a sensational provisional pole in the Castec Rural Services Mustang for MVA Racing, with Haynes second-last out for the shootout.
Nick Bates, who qualified third provisionally, spun his Mustang at Turn 2 on his lap and aborted his lap.
Gartner encountered a mechanical issue during a smoky shootout lap to start sixth, as Haynes set a blistering 1:34.5063 to earn his first career PWR Pole Award by 1.2 seconds from Zach Loscialpo and Lee Stibbs.
Haynes lead from the outset as Johnson began the recovery charge, passing seven cars in two laps.
Gartner retired on Lap 2 after his mechanical issue in qualifying returned in the race.
Johnson’s day went from bad to worse after suffering a mechanical failure at Turn 1 and sailed into the tyre barriers on Lap 3 which brought out the safety car for three laps to recover the NAPA Mustang.
Haynes gapped the field on the restart and cantered away to win by five seconds over Loscialpo, as Michael Coulter came home strong, passing Lee Stibbs to finish third in the Kobelco Mustang.
Following Johnson’s costly DNF, his championship lead was cut to 74 points to IES Motorsport’s Graham Cheney.
The TA2 Muscle Car Series framed by Hytek is back on track for Races 2, 3 & 4 for Round 5, which will be live-streamed on the AMRS and TA2 Racing Australia Facebook pages.
Josh Haynes - driver #17 Elvin Group Chevrolet Camaro
“It was a really good race.
“We started off pole, had a good start and managed to pull a gap before the safety car came out.
“The rest of the race was focussed on conserving our tyres, we have three races tomorrow so we’ll see what we can do, but today was a perfect start to our weekend."
Jett Johnson - driver #117 NAPA Auto Parts Ford Mustang
“We had a pretty good start, I was trying to be cautious after an incident in qualifying,
“I was trying to take it easy and not make any mistakes and unfortunately coming into Turn 1 on the start of Lap 3 we had an issue which caused the power steering pump to fail through Turn 1 and went straight ahead.
“It’s not an ideal situation, but we’ll jump in and help the NAPA Auto Parts team fix it and reset for tomorrow.”