The TA2 Muscle Car Series - framed by HYTEK Steel Framing has reached the pointy end of the season with the penultimate round of the championship kicking off this weekend at Sydney Motorsport Park under lights for the first time this year.
A strong 26 car field will hit the track as the series welcomes a host of high profile entries set to challenge the regular contenders.
Toyota 86 front-runner Jarrod Hughes is set to make his solo TA2 Muscle Car Series debut in an AC Delco-backed Mustang. Hughes previously paired up with Hayden Jackson back in May for Darwin’s King of the North enduro where they had a strong run, finishing 9th in the points.
TCR star Jordan Cox will sub for Mark Crutcher in the Crutcher Developments Mustang. The pair won the final two-driver race in Darwin, while Crutcher has handed the keys to Cox for this round while Crutcher is overseas.
National Trans-Am stars Cody Gillis, Elliott Cleary, Tom Hayman, Ben Grice, Joshua Thomas, John Holinger and Kyle Gurton will all line up on the grid in Sydney.
Reigning TA2 King of the West winner Brett Niall will return to the grid, making the journey across from Perth to drive a Dream Racing Australia prepared Camaro.
Queenslander Anthony Tenkate returns to the series for the first time this year after an extensive repair following a crash at Sydney Motorsport Park in 2022.
New South Welshman Michael Coulter and Chris Formosa return to the grid this weekend as well as Queenslander Peter Robinson who joins the field for the first time since Round 1 at Winton.
By way of consistency, Dylan Thomas in the CXC Mustang leads the series by just 13 points from Jackson Rice in the Mud Tamer Mustang, sharing second overall with the Beaches SeaDoo Ford of Josh Haynes, however Camaro driver Graham Cheney, Dodge Challenger racer Hayden Jackson and Mustang mounted Nicholas Bates are all within striking distance.
Thomas has played a smart game so far, driving consistently for points and winning the $20,000 TA2 King of the North with Tim Brook in Darwin earlier this year. Rice and Haynes have both traded race wins and steadily closed the gap on Thomas over the past few rounds, making this weekend’s Sydney Motorsport Park round critical in setting up for the final showdown at the re-birthed Calder Park Raceway in December.
Bates and 2017 TA2 Champion Russell Wright are fighting it out for the Circo Masters Award, with Crutcher overseas for this round.
South Australian Brad Gartner will be back for this round, currently sitting 10th in the Mountain Motorsports Mustang, series behind Matt MacKelden, Wright and Crutcher. While, Gunnedah’s Greg Keam is eyeing the $2000 Racetech Rookie of the Year prize for first year drivers, only 1 point behind rookie leader Hayden Hume, with just two rounds to go.
The TA2 Muscle Car Series - framed by HYTEK Steel Framing will have four races across the weekend at Sydney Motorsport Park, Friday will see Qualifying and a Top 10 Shootout plus Race 1 under lights, while Saturday will feature three races with a 15 lap final under lights and televised live on free to air channel SBS Viceland in prime time.
Catch Saturday’s action live streamed from 1pm AEDT on the TA2 Facebook and Hi-Tec Oils Super Series Facebook pages, and live on air from 6pm AEDT on SBS Viceland, simulcast on Fox Sports and Kayo.
TA2 Muscle Car Series framed by Hytek
2023 Round 5 - Sydney Motorsport Park
Practice 1: 11:25am (20 minutes)
Practice 2: 2:15pm (20 minutes)
Qualifying A: 4:35pm (15 minutes)
Qualifying B: 4:55pm (15 minutes)
Top 10 Shootout: 6:40pm (30 minutes)
Race 1: 9:25pm 10 laps
Race 2: 1:06pm (12 laps)
Race 3: 6:06pm (10 laps)
Race 4: 8:11pm (15 laps)
Live stream: Saturday 1pm (Hi Tec Oils Super Series Facebook & YouTube)
Speedweek: Saturday 5:40pm (SBS Viceland, SBS On Demand, Fox Sports, Kayo Sports)
#1 Elliot Cleary (VIC), Ford Mustang -The Racing Academy
#2 Kyle Gurton (VIC), Ford Mustang- Nuveau group
#3 Ben Grice (VIC), Ford Mustang - All American Driveline
#4 Jordan Cox (NSW), Ford Mustang- Crutcher Developments
#7 Jackson Rice (VIC), Ford Mustang- Mudtamer
#10 Peter Robinson (QLD), Dodge Challenger- B styled for life
#11 Michael Coulter (NSW), Chevrolet Camaro- Kobelco Motorsport
#13 Greg Keam (NSW), Ford Mustang- Debeers Refinish
#19 Cody Gillis (NSW), Ford Mustang- The Racing Academy
#21 Zach Loscialpo (NSW),Chevrolet Camaro- Tempest Solutions
#22 Brad Gartner (SA), Ford Mustang- Castec Rural Supplies
#23 John Holinger (VIC), Chevrolet Camaro- Holinger Racing
#24 Nicholas Bates (NSW), Ford Mustang- Bates Motorsport
#30 Tom Hayman (NSW), Ford Mustang - Tom Hayman Motorsport
#37 Josh Haynes (NSW), Ford Mustang- Beaches SEADOO
#39 Chris Formosa (NSW), Dodge Challenger- Allgate Motorsport
#50 Paul Hadley (NSW), Chevrolet Camaro- IES Motorsport
#51 Graham Cheney (NSW), Chevrolet Camaro- IES Motorsport
#54 Brett Niall (WA), Chevrolet Camaro- Dream Racing
#55 Russell Wright (QLD), ford mustang- Wright Property Developments
#68 Dylan Thomas (NSW), Ford Mustang- CXC Racing
#69 Anthony Tenkate (QLD), Ford Mustang, Tenkate Plant Hire
#81 Hayden Jackson (NSW), Dodge Challenger- MGW/Team RSG
#99 Matt MacKelden (QLD), Ford Mustang- Kubota Racing
#118 Jarrod Hughes (QLD), Ford Mustang- ACDELCO
#169 Joshua Thomas (QLD), Ford Mustang- TFH Hire Service
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TCR Australia contender Jordan Cox is gearing up for his solo debut in the TA2 Muscle Car Series framed by HYTEK Steel Framing, set to unfold at Sydney Motorsport Park during the penultimate round on 13-14 October.
Cox, widely known for his impressive performances in TCR Australia, will step into the #4 Crutcher Developments Ford Mustang, substituting for Mark Crutcher, who will be unable to attend this event due to overseas commitments.
Notably, Cox and Crutcher previously joined forces in the TA2 Muscle Car King of the North two- driver race at Darwin in June, where they clinched victory in the final 35-lap enduro race and secured the fastest lap of the race.
Currently occupying fifth position in the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series, Jordan Cox pilots the Schaeffler Peugeot for Garry Rogers Motorsport.
His solo outing in the TA2 Muscle Car Series presents a thrilling opportunity to showcase his racing prowess in a V8 rear-wheel drive muscle car.
Sydney Motorsport Park holds a special place in Jordan Cox's heart, being his home track and the site of his past successes in Improved Production Racing during his climb through the ranks.
Although his track time at the circuit has been limited this year, Cox is poised to make the most of this opportunity, using it as valuable training for the upcoming round of TCR in Sydney scheduled as part of the TCR World Tour at Race Sydney on 3-4 November.
The Sydney round promises to be a captivating day/night affair, with racing under lights on both Friday and Saturday.
The pinnacle of excitement arrives on Saturday night, with live prime-time television coverage of the racing action on free-to-air channel SBS Viceland and Fox Sports/Kayo.
As the TA2 Muscle Car Series heads into its penultimate round, CXC Racing’s Dylan Thomas maintains the championship lead with 822 points. Dream Racing Australia’s Jackson Rice and Beaches SeaDoo Mustang driver Josh Haynes are currently tied in second place, each with 809 points.
Jordan Cox, driver #4 Crutcher Developments Ford Mustang
“I’m pumped to make my first solo TA2 start in Sydney. It’s a great category with great cars, and great competitors as well, so I’m super excited to get into it.
“It was a really funny conversation with Mark. He called me up and explained to me that he wasn’t able to do it, and so he said, “look, have a think about it, let me know what your thoughts are and if you want to do it,” and the next words I said were, Mark, I’ve thought about it, and I want to do it, so I didn’t have to think twice about jumping in.
“I’m expecting it to be tough. It’s what we’ve become accustomed to watching TA2 racing and it’s arguably one of the best racing categories in the country right now.
“Darwin was great, I think from a driving point of view the races played out a little differently to what I thought would be the case, as to what I'm sort of used to in TCR, but I was able to learn that pretty quickly.
“Right now I’m sort of only racing seven times a year with TCR, so any time I can jump into a car and do some laps its great. It’s always good fun racing in a category like this.”
Mark Crutcher, owner/driver #4 Crutcher Developments Ford Mustang
“While I’m not able to race myself at this round, I’m excited to provide the opportunity for Jordan Cox to race my Mustang at Sydney Motorsport Park at the next TA2 round.
“Jordan has proven his speed in these cars when he joined me for the enduro in Darwin and we took home the win in the final race, so I have full confidence in his abilities and am thrilled to have him represent the team in Sydney.”
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Canberra racer Josh Haynes is fully primed for the second half of the 2023 motorsport season, after launching himself into title contention for the TA2 Muscle Car Series framed by Hytek with the overall round victory at Morgan Park on the weekend.
Haynes started the season on the back foot in the season opener at Winton in March, a mechanical problem ruling him out of the weekend’s opening race. However, he demonstrated his speed by fighting through the field, ultimately winning the fourth and final race.
The second round was a twin-driver endurance event at Darwin’s Hidden Valley Raceway, in which Haynes teamed up with fellow Canberra racer Nicholas Bates. Haynes qualified fastest in a star-studded field that included American TA2 star Nathan Herne, and while the race results were mixed, a strong second-place finish in the final 35-lap feature race was enough for Haynes to move from eighth to fourth on the points table.
In the third round at Queensland Raceway, Haynes finished second in all four races to entrench himself inside the championship top three, before finally breaking through for the round win at Morgan Park to close within 13 points of the series lead.
The final two rounds of the season will be held at Sydney Motorsport Park and Calder Park, with Haynes expecting those venue venues to work to his advantage.
While the TA2 Muscle Car Series has been Haynes’ focus, he has also dabbled in some other categories. He drove Tony Barton’s Nissan 300ZX in a round of the NSW Sports Sedan Championship at Sydney Motorsport Park, before slotting into the Phil Crompton-owned Mustang for the first round of the National Sports Sedan Series at Winton.
Despite it being his first time driving the car, Haynes took the category by storm, racing wheel-to-wheel with Sports Sedan legend Tony Ricciardello and established front-runner Jordan Caruso and scoring a win in Race 2. A fairytale round win was on the cards before an unfortunate engine failure sidelined the Mustang in Race 3.
Haynes will also compete in this weekend’s Sydney 300, teaming up with Michael Ricketts in a Nissan Pulsar. The duo will aim to defend their Division D victory from last year, racing in a mammoth 53-car field.
Josh Haynes #37 - Beaches Sea Doo Ford Mustang
"We’ve had good speed all year, but the DNF at Winton put us on the back foot,” Haynes said.
“Since then, we’ve had to work hard to fight back into title contention, but Morgan Park was definitely a breakthrough round.
“I finished second in the first three races, but in the final race I was able to take the lead around the outside in the first corner and had the pace to drive away from the field."
“SMP is a track where I’ve had a lot of experience, not just in TA2 but in the Pulsar Series, Sports Sedans and Sydney 300, so I’m hoping for a home ground advantage there,” he said.
“The season finale at Calder Park will be a big unknown for everyone, because it’s been so long since it’s hosted national-level events. It’s going to be an exciting finish to the championship, that’s for sure.”
“My main priority is TA2, but it’s very cool to have these opportunities in other categories and I’m thankful to the people who have made them happen,” Haynes said.
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Three wins out of four at Morgan Park has stamped Dream Racing Australia driver Jackson Rice’s TA2 Muscle Car Series title aspirations in a successful debut at the venue.
Entering the weekend 23-points behind the series leader, Rice has cut the margin back to 13 despite a disappointing end to the event when he was spun in the final race, which prevented a round clean-sweep.
Qualifying second entering the Top Eight Shootout, Rice maintained this position as he missed pole by a mere 0.162s. However, Rice flipped the script in the opening race to take his first win since the Winton round held earlier this season.
Making his first appearance at Morgan Park failed to worry Rice as he added further victories in Races 2 and 3 to be on course for a rare round clean-sweep in the TA2 Muscle Car Series.
It wasn’t to be as contact at the opening corner of the first lap ended his chances as Rice minimised the damage to finish ninth and fall seven-points short of the round victory.
Despite the final race spin, Rice closed the margin at the top of the standings to be equal second heading to Sydney Motorsport Park on October 13-14. In between, Rice is planning to keep match fit by entering select National Trans Am Series rounds.
Jackson Rice #7 - Radio Industries Ford Mustang
“We were having a really good weekend, we started off the front row after the shootout and took three wins,” said Rice.
“Credit to Josh (Haynes), he kept me on my toes all weekend and we were looking like we were finally on for our first round win, but at Turn 1 of the last race I got turned around - got absolutely stoved in the rear. It’s pretty disappointing. To say I’m gutted is probably an understatement, some days you’re the bug, others you’re the windscreen.
“We got back out there, credit to the boys as they put a tyre on and raced a lap down. Made a couple of spots up, but we are going to have to look forward to the next event to recoup some championship points.
“A massive thank you to all our sponsors, we wouldn’t be without you. Massive thanks to Bob Selby-Wood at Radio Industries, Orafol, Pedders Brakes and Suspension, Snap On, Leed, Value Auto Group, Deloitte Ford, Bonnici and Associates, and Mudtamer.”
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Josh Haynes in the Beaches SeaDoo Mustang won today’s final race during Round 4 of the TA2 Muscle Car Series - framed by HYTEK Steel Framing, banking enough points to take the round win.
Jackson Rice, (Radio Industries Mustang) was on for a clean sweep of all races, but was turned around by Brad Gartner at Turn One in the final race, forcing a pit stop due to a bent rim before recovering to finish 9 th and a lap down.
Series leader Dylan Thomas wrapped up third for the round, although with a reduced margin to Haynes.
This morning’s second race was won by Rice, from Haynes after Haynes grabbed an early lead before going off at Turn 9 handing Rice the lead.
Gartner and Thomas traded places a number of times, before Gartner passed the CXC Racing Mustang on the line at the flag for third.
Race 3 was another benefit for the Dream Racing team with Rice again winning from Haynes while Thomas and Gartner again crossed the line barely apart.
2019 TA2 champ Russell Wright had a feisty battle with Mark Crutcher, both spinning while Matt Mackelden and Hayden Jackson both suffered tyre issues and fell back.
Zac Losciaplp in the Tempest Solutions Camaro and Graham Cheney finished 5 th and 6 th with best TA2 result for Gunnedahs Greg Keam in 7th Nicholas Bates was a non-starter for the final 20 lap feature race, and Haynes grabbed the advantage at the start and was never headed after Rice was taken out. Gartner was served a 30 second post race penalty for the incident. Mark Crutcher was the big benefactor, going on to finish 3 rd outright from his P9 start, earning the Hypercoils Hard Charger Award, and the Circo Master Class award.
Maitlands Hayden Jackson had a solid run to 4 th , just ahead of Russell Wright and Wilwood Big Braker Award winner Graham Cheney in the IES Camaro.
Keam also won the Bowden’s Best Presented and Racetech Rookie of the Round Award
Dylan Thomas continues to lead the series on 822 points from Rice on 809 and Haynes 808 points.
QUOTESJosh Haynes #37 Ford Mustang - Beaches Sea Doo
"Definitely not always the way you would like to win but at the same time we showed our pace all weekend. It would of been great to have a battle with Jackson at the end there but I am super happy to get the win.
The team did an unreal job all weekend and I would just like to thank my sponsors and everyone for sticking by me.
I am looking forward to Sydney Motorsport Park in October under lights."
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