Wodonga, VIC driver Jackson Rice has scored the first win of the 2023 TA2 Muscle Car Series framed by Hytek Steel Framing at Winton Motor Raceway today.
The #7 Pedders Suspension & Brakes Ford Mustang converted pole position to take the chequered flag after 12 laps by six seconds ahead of South Australian Lee Stibbs (#66 Arrow Financial Services Chevrolet Camaro) and last season’s runner-up Graham Cheney (#51 IES Motorsport Chevrolet Camaro).
The race was marred by a red flag on Lap 2 after South Australian Brad Gartner suffered a mechanical failure and nosed the #22 Castec Rural Supplies Ford Mustang hard into the tyre bundle on the exit of the Turn 1-2 chicane.
The race resumed with nine laps remaining, however Greg Keam parked the Debeers Refinish Ford Mustang at the exit of Turn 4 on the restart, while Waltec Motorsport’s Aaron Tebb also failed to finish.
After topping qualifying earlier in the day, Josh Haynes found trouble on Lap 9 while sitting in third place, with an oil pressure issue that took the 2022 Rookie of the Year out of the race.
2022 Southern Series champion Zach Loscialpo scored a strong fourth place for the #21 Tempest Solutions Chevrolet Camaro prepared by Waltec Motorsport, ahead of CXC Racing’s Dylan Thomas in fifth.
Defending Masters Class champion Nicholas Bates placed sixth ahead of TA2 returnee Hugh McALister, while Hayden Jackson made up six positions from 14th to eighth.
Kobelco Motorsport’s Michael Coulter climbed nine spots from 18th to ninth ahead of John Holinger.
18-year old Hayden Hume also made up nine positions from 20th to 11th in the #45 Total Parts Plus Dodge Challenger.
The TA2 Muscle Car Series framed by Hytek Steel Framing returns to action at Winton Motor Raceway on Sunday for Races 2, 3 and 4.
Race 2 will be streamed live via the Hi Tec Oils Super Series’ Facebook and YouTube channel, before Races 3 and 4 will be included as part of the series live broadcast on SBS Viceland and SBS On Demand, Fox Sports and Kayo Sports.
QUOTESJackson Rice, #7 Pedders Suspension & Brakes Ford Mustang
“Great to get the win, got to be happy with that! The boys were fantastic, The Pedders Mustang was great, we just played out the strategy and the car held on the whole time.
“We kept chipping away without safety car interventions at the end so that was really good. We just stuck to the plan and paced ourselves.
“We will do the same thing for Races 2, 3 and 4 tomorrow. I think we have a really good car underneath us, it just depends on how the race pans out.
“Temperatures were really hot today and hopefully they are a little bit cooler tomorrow, but we’ll stick to our plan and just keep chipping away and hopefully come home with more wins.”
A packed field of 27 TA2 cars will take to Winton Motor Raceway for Round 1 of the 2023 TA2 Muscle Car Series framed by Hytek Steel Framing.
A strong field enters the first round of the year after the announcement of a new television deal with SBS Speedweek, with Sunday’s racing televised live on free-to-air channel SBS Viceland and SBS On Demand, and simulcast on Fox Sports and Kayo.
The series will welcome three debutants this weekend, including 18-year old Toyota 86 Series racer Hayden Hume in the Total Parts Plus Dodge Challenger, former Heritage Touring Cars racer Greg Keam in the ex Michael Coulter/Kobelco Motorsport Ford Mustang and former Superkarts racer Bernie Walsh in a Mustang.
The competition out front is set to be as fierce as ever, with race winners from last season including Jackson Rice, Josh Haynes and Brad Gartner all returning this season.
Haynes has made the switch from a Camaro to a Mustang with backing from Beaches Sea-Doo, while Rice returns with a new livery with major support from Pedders Suspension, and Gartner back in the Castec Rural Supplies Mustang after a breakthrough win at last year’s season finale at Winton.
While defending champion Jett Johnson has graduated to the Super3 Series, 2022 series runner-up Graham Cheney is back in action with IES Motorsport stablemate Paul Hadley, as well as Southern Series champion Zach Loscialpo in the Waltec Motorsport outfit alongside former Super2 and GT racer Aaron Tebb, and Chris Formosa in the #49 Dukes of Hazzard tribute Allgate Motorsport Dodge Challenger.
Regular frontrunner Michael Coulter has swapped from a Mustang to a Camaro for the Kobelco Motorsport team.
SEN The Drivers’ Seat radio show co-host host Matthew MacKelden returns to action for a full season campaign in the Kubota Racing Mustang, while former series regular Hugh McAlister makes his TA2 comeback this weekend following a stint in Trans-Am competition.
Former Toyota 86 Series racer Hayden Jackson, production car ace Dylan Thomas, South Australian excel graduate Lee Stibbs, and Queenslander Nick Lange are also ready to take on the outright class.
Former Northern Series round winner Chris Pappas is set to make a remarkable comeback to racing this weekend after suffering multiple injuries in a road accident, with Norwell Motorplex team mate Michael Rowell also returning to the series this year in his Mustang.
Defending Circo Masters Class Champion Nicholas Bates returns to defend his title, with Mark Crutcher, former touring car driver Dean Lindstrom, Peter Robinson, John Holinger and Rob Leonard also expected to fight for Masters honours.
Leonard will front up in a newly launched livery promoting the ‘Slow Down Workers Around’ campaign for roadwork safety awareness.
The weekend’s format will see three practice sessions on Friday, before the field will be split into two groups for Qualifying. The ten fastest drivers overall from Qualifying will progress through to a Top 10 Shootout. Four 12 lap sprint races will be held across the weekend, with Race 1 on Saturday and the remainder on Sunday.
Race 2 on Sunday morning will be streamed live via the Hi Tec Oils Super Series’ Facebook and YouTube channel, before Races 3 and 4 will be included as part of the series live broadcast on SBS Viceland and SBS On Demand, Fox Sports and Kayo Sports.
Brad Gartner, #22 Castec Rural Supplies Ford Mustang
“It was really good to get the win at Winton last year and I am super keen to get back there. We were fast there, the MVA Racing team went well, Lee [Stibbs] was fast as well and we are keen to get there to see how we go.
“If we can get ourselves at the pointy-end for qualifying we can pick them off one by one there will be a fair bit going on.
“I want to finish every race and back the points and towards the end of the year push a bit harder and try and get to the front of the championship.
“Castec Rural Supplies are our main partner for this year so the car is black and white and we have continued with the highlighted blue on the 22 for this year.”
Matthew MacKelden, #99 Kubota Ford Mustang
“I am looking forward to it, start of the new year and the start of a new era for TA2 as well. With the television package we have got and the drivers we are attracting I think its going to be a big year.
“There are lots of new drivers so I think it is going to be a busy weekend, I just hope everyone keeps their heads about themselves as it is a very long season ahead.
“I think if you looked at the results of a lot of the drivers last year, the key to having a result at the end of the series is to finish every single race. The young kids coming in have to be very carful they don’t loose it all on the first corner snd just take a long term view on the season so they are there at the end.
“This is my eighth year with Kubota and their loyalty is incredible and we continue on with the radio show, racing and all of that. I am excited to start our race season together, where it goes for next season I’m not entirely sure but at the end of the day I am excited for the start of the year.
“We are going to start this round with a level of conservatism with the view of the final round at Calder being in the mix.”
TA2 Muscle Car Series framed by Hytek
2023 Round 1 - Winton Motor Raceway
All times AEDT
Practice 1: 9:00am (20 minutes)
Practice 2: 10:40am (20 minutes)
Practice 3: 12:45pm (20 minutes)
Qualifying (Group 1): 10:00am (20 minutes)
Qualifying (Group 2): 10:25am (20 minutes)
Top 10 Shootout: 1:05pm
Race 1: 3:25pm (12 laps)
Race 2: 9:50am (12 laps)
Race 3: 1:10pm (12 laps)
Race 4: 3:25pm (12 laps)
Live stream: Sunday 9:45am to 12:45pm (Hi Tec Oils Super Series Facebook & YouTube)
Speedweek: Sunday 1pm (SBS Viceland, SBS On Demand, Fox Sports, Kayo Sports)
TA2 Muscle Car Series framed by Hytek
2023 Round 1 - Winton Motor Raceway
#4 Mark Crutcher (NSW), Ford Mustang - Crutcher Developments
#6 Hugh McAlister (NSW), Ford Mustang - McAlister Motors
#7 Jackson Rice (VIC), Ford Mustang - Pedders Suspension & Brakes
#8 Chris Pappas (QLD), Ford Mustang - WealthRite
#10 Peter Robinson (QLD), Dodge Challenger - Morgan’s Investments
#11 Michael Coulter (NSW), Chevrolet Camaro - Kobelco Motorsport #13 Greg Keam (NSW), Ford Mustang - Debeers Refinish
#15 Michael Rowell (QLD), Ford Mustang - Norwell Racers
#20 Adam Hargraves (QLD), Chevrolet Camaro - localsearch.com.au
#21 Zach Loscialpo (NSW), Chevrolet Camaro - Tempest Solutions
#22 Brad Gartner (SA), Ford Mustang - Castec Rural Supplies/MVA Racing
#23 John Holinger (VIC), Chevrolet Camaro - Holinger Racing
#24 Nicholas Bates (NSW), Ford Mustang - Sullivans
#30 Dean Lindstrom (SA), Ford Mustang - TDP Mobile Services
#37 Josh Haynes (NSW), Ford Mustang - Beaches SEADOO
#40 Robert Leonard (QLD), Ford Mustang - Access Linemarking Equipment/Municipal Works Australia
#33 Nick Lange (QLD), Chevrolet Camaro - Tefol Group
#45 Hayden Hume (QLD), Dodge Challenger - Total Parts Plus
#49 Chris Formosa (NSW), Dodge Challenger - Allgate Motorsport
#50 Paul Hadley (NSW), Chevrolet Camaro - IES Motorsport
#51 Graham Cheney (NSW), Chevrolet Camaro - IES Motorsport
#52 Bernie Walsh (QLD), Ford Mustang - Red Point Racing
#66 Lee Stibbs (SA), Chevrolet Camaro - Arrow Financial Services/MVA Racing
#68 Dylan Thomas (NSW), Ford Mustang - CXC Racing
#81 Hayden Jackson (NSW), Dodge Challenger - MGW/Team RSG
#93 Aaron Tebb (NSW), Chevrolet Camaro - Waltec Motorsport
#99 Matthew MacKelden, Ford Mustang - Kubota Racing
“SLOW DOWN, WORKERS AROUND”
Season 2023 sees Access Line-marking Equipment team up with Municipal Works Australia to raise awareness of safety of our workers on roadwork sites.
Rob Leonard will now run with Number 40 themed as the standard speed limit sign in active roadwork sites, the new TA2 Mustang also carries the safety message “SLOW DOWN, WORKERS AROUND”. The drive behind this campaign is to spread the word about the high number of serious injuries or even worse, the number of deaths that are caused every year at roadwork sites by inattentive or speeding drivers. While carrying a message about “SLOW DOWN, WORKERS AROUND” on a race car may seem strange to a lot of people, we draw on the safety policies in place in pit lane at race tracks where 40 kph is strictly enforced to keep the pit lane workers safe at all times.
As a supplier to Councils, State Governments and infrastructure-based companies. Access Line-marking Equipment has always supported safety initiatives for their customers’ employees as most of them operate in active roadwork sites and constantly talk about the number of incidents that happen on a daily basis.Round 1 of the TA2 Muscle Car Series framed by HYTEK Steel Framing kicks off on March 17-19 at Winton Motor Raceway. Races will be live and free-to-air on Sunday afternoon from 1pm on SBS and Fox Sports
Entries are open for the first round of the 2023 TA2 Muscle Car Series at Winton Motor Raceway on 17-19 March, with a host of names already preparing for an assault at the title this year.
The series will return to the venue of last year’s season finale, where third-generation racer Jett Johnson scored his maiden circuit racing title as he sets his sights on climbing the Supercars development ladder in 2023.
Many teams have already begun their testing programs ahead of the new season, with 2022 race winners Jackson Rice and Josh Haynes announcing a full season campaign in 2023, with the title firmly in their sights.
Rice has been putting in the hours at the Calder Park-based Dream Racing Australia workshop, as he works to continue where he left off last season with a win in the final race at his home track at Winton.
Haynes has swapped his Chevrolet Camaro for a Ford Mustang driven last season by Mick Rowell, with a new naming rights sponsor to be announced before Round 1.
The TA2 Muscle Car Series joins the Hi Tech Oils Super Series for the first round of the season featuring a new broadcast deal which will see live free-to-air coverage on SBS and simulcast on Fox Sports.
Round 1 of the 2023 TA2 Muscle Car Series takes place at Winton Motor Raceway on 17-19 March.
Jackson Rice, TA2 Ford Mustang driver
“The TA2 Series is fantastic from so many points of view. From a cost base they’re fantastic for guys like myself to get into to build skills to work our way up, the competition is super close with a lot of fast guys last year and this year, and the cars draw people to the fence, for close competition, they make the right noises and do the right things on track.
“We’ve done a lot of testing and a lot of stuff with the car and with myself with personal training, there’s a large variety of tracks, Darwin will be exciting as not many drivers would have been there, so it’s going to be about who can get on the pace the fastest.
“I started in cars here at Winton. I have a very close mentor who is a life member at the club and that’s what drew us here initially, but the circuit for competition is great. There’s a whole heap of technical corners, high speed, low speed, many opportunities for passing so it’s a really good track to race at.”
“I think it’s going to be a seriously close year. You always want to go out and compete and be the best and win the title but the competition will be very close this year, so hopefully we do well and bring home the ring.
“We’re carrying through many of the same sponsors this year in Orafol, Pedders, Value Auto Group and all our valued partners for the support this season.”
Josh Haynes, TA2 Ford Mustang driver
"Super excited to be back racing in the 2023 TA2 Muscle Car Series. This year will be an exciting year with new drivers, new tracks including Darwin and the return of Calder Park.”
“I’m more pumped than ever with a new car and exciting new sponsors joining the team this year so I’m itching to get back on track in anger at Winton in a few weeks.”
QUOTESLiam Curkpatrick. Chief Operating Officer - Australian Racing Group "The partnership that we have established has matured over the past two years, and it's great to solidify our position with PBR for the next three years," "The best part of the deal is that it gives all comers to Trans Am racing in Australia lots of options. With the way that the calendars align, you could be racing more times than most other major categories.” "Interest in our Trans Am series is at an all-time high, and we feel that maintaining the relationship and alignment with PBR and TA2 is important for the future of the class in Australia." Craig Denyer, Category Manager - TA2 Muscle Car Series “This relationship has worked well as it clearly puts the competitor first and helps keep the costs controlled," said Denyer. "The same specification car for both series gives all teams the opportunity of competing at the level they can best afford, at the tracks they would like to compete at. They can race Trans Am one weekend, and the TA2 Muscle Car Series the following weekend if they choose, as many of them do, and nothing has to change on the car." "We are looking forward to another successful partnership as both series continue to support each other, delivering great on track action and worthy series champions.”