Wodonga’s Jackson Rice in the Radio Industries Mustang claimed today’s first race for Dream Racing at round four of the TA2 Muscle Car Series - framed by HYTEK Steel Framing at Morgan Park Raceway, Warwick today.
Rice made the winning move on pole sitter Josh Haynes on Lap 4 at Turn 7. Haynes was quickest in qualifying taking the PWR Pole Award in the Top 8 shootout by 1/10th of a second from Rice, series leader Dylan Thomas and Brad Gartner in the rebuilt Australian Tarmac Rally Mustang after the recent hit at Queensland Raceway.
Graham Cheney’s IES Camaro was the big improver in the shootout, finishing 5th while series frontrunner Nicholas Bates missed a gear on entry to the Turn 3 sweeper to be 6th fastest from Hayden Jackson, Zac Loscialpo. Russell Wright and Mark Crutcher.
Haynes and Rice took the green for the first 12 lap stoush from Thomas, Gartner and Cheney, while Nicholas Bates Mustang fired off at Turn 10 after a touch from Loscialpo.
Rice closed on Hayne’s Beaches Sea Doo Mustang and on lap four made the move cleanly for the race lead and was never headed. Mark Crutcher made the move on Russell Wrights Crew Commercial Mustang for 9th , to be re-passed a lap later while Gunnedah’s Greg Keam joined the party in his DeBeers Refinish Mustang only to spin late in the race at Turn 7 while running side by side with the Crutcher Developments Mustang.
Gartner had a lonely run in 4th, while Maitland’s Hayden Jackson closed on Cheney for 6 the with Crutcher, Loscialpo, Wright and Matt Mackelden’s Kubota Racing Mustang rounding out the 10.
Keam recovered to finish 11th from Bates, Rob Leonard in the Access Line Marking Equipment Mustang and Paul Hadley’s Camaro.
Tomorrow’s races will be live streamed from 9.30 am on the Hi-Tec Oils Super Series Facebook page and Speedcafe before going live on SBS Free to Air at 1 pm and simulcast on Fox Sports 505.
Race 2 will be at 10.23, Race 3 at 1.05 pm and the final 20 lapper wraps up the live telecast from 3.15 pm.
QUOTESJackson Rice, #7 Ford Mustang - Radio Industries
“Josh was really fast off the bat, we set our tyres up low to come on late and have good mid race pace and we did exactly that.
The car was good we took an opportunity when one presented and it was a good race.
I put the pass on Josh between turns 5 and 6.
We tried to conserve towards the end, we were obviously leading there was a bit of clean air trying to look after the rubber. We have a lot of laps to do tomorrow, we have a 20 lap race at the end of the day.”
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Dream Racing Australia’s Jackson Rice will race for the first time at Morgan Park this weekend for Round 4 of TA2 Muscle Car Series, which headlines the Hi Tec Oils Super Series.
Following a consistent event at Queensland Raceway last month and a confidence building appearance at Winton Motor Raceway contesting the National Trans Am Series where he finished inside the top 10, Rice is aiming to close the 23-point margin at the top of the standings.
Adding to Rice’s strong momentum was extra seat time courtesy of a test at Dream Racing Australia’s home track Calder Park as it built on the discoveries in terms of set-up and reliability at Winton.
This weekend marks Rice’s Morgan Park debut, but he has completed preparation in a simulator and studied onboard footage to make the first sessions on Friday that little bit easier.
Rice welcomes Radio Industries as his main supporter at Morgan Park, Mudtamer will continue in a minor role and is expected to come back to a major partner later in the season.
QUOTES Jackson Rice, #7 Ford Mustang - Radio Industries
“We had some really good success at Winton,” said Rice.
“We showed some real speed and we came away sorting problems we were having, so heading to Morgan Park with confidence in the car is something I’m looking forward to.
“The boys at Dream Racing Australia and myself have worked really hard behind the scenes to really get the car in tune with me as well as vice versa. We’ve worked hard on my personal development and making the car mechanically fast, so it’s good to see it coming together now.
“I think we saw at the start of the year it was going to be a really close title fight as both Dylan (Thomas) and Josh (Haynes) have been really competitive, but also consistent, which is the main thing. I’m aiming to close the gap to the top and hopefully extend it back to third.
“I haven’t been to Morgan Park before, but I’ve completed laps on a simulator to get a rough idea as it doesn’t provide the full exposure you need for a circuit. I’m looking forward to getting to a track we haven’t been to before and hoping from all the in-car videos I’ve watched I can get the jump on early.
“It was really exciting to test at Calder Park and get ahead of the game before the final round of the TA2 Muscle Car Series to be held there. I love that track and I’m super keen to be in a field of 25 or more TA2s around there.
“Mudtamer has come onboard for the year, those guys have been fantastic. We’re really lucky Bob Selby-Woods from Radio Industries has come onboard for the weekend as my main sponsor and Mudtamer will come back in that role later in the year."
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A competitive TA2 field is set to return to Morgan Park Raceway for the first time since 2019 for Round 4 of the 2023 TA2 Muscle Car Series framed by HYTEK Steel Framing, headlining the Hi-Tec Oils Super Series on July 7-9. After Round 3 in Queensland Raceway, CXC Racing’s Dylan Thomas remains the championship leader, 23 points ahead of Pedders Suspension and Mudtamer Ford Mustang driver Jackson Rice. Thomas tested at Morgan Park last month, and has focussed his efforts on maximising the Morgan Park round to protect his lead over Haynes and Rice.
Young gun Josh Haynes sits third overall on 581 points, with reigning CIRCO Masters Champion Nicholas Bates back in fourth on 482 points.
Brad Gartner will return for Morgan Park after he experienced a frightening brake issue at 200km/h which resulted in a dramatic crash at Queensland Raceway. The impact of the crash caused significant damage to his #22 Castec Rural Supplies Ford Mustang and absorbed the energy incredibly well, leaving Gartner to walk unscathed from the wreck. The team at PBR Distributions have worked countlessly to get Gartner’s Ford Mustang prepared and looking new for Morgan Park.
Hayden Jackson had a strong run at Queensland Raceway taking home his best result in the TA2 Series as well as the Wildwood Big Braker award, despite not qualifying due to a clutch issue.
Gunnedah’s Greg Keam will continue his rookie charge in Morgan Park after taking home the Rookie of the Round at Queensland Raceway while series points leader for the Racetech Rookie of the Year Award Hayden Hume will compete in the Toyota 86 round at Townsville this weekend.
Russell Wright will return this weekend in his #55 Crew Commercial Ford Mustang to fight out the Circo Master Class against Robert Leonard, Mark Crutcher, Paul Hadley, Greg Keam, Matthew Mackelden and Nicholas Bates. Graham Cheney is looking for a solid result in his IES Camaro, currently fifth in the pointscore, only two points behinds the Bates Mustang. The reigning Northern Series champ is looking for a strong haul of points as we head into the halfway point of the championship. The weekend’s schedule will kick off with 4 Practice sessions on Friday. A 15 minute qualifying session will be held at 10:50am on Saturday followed by a Top 8 Shootout, which will set the grid for Race 1.
Four sprint races will be held across the weekend, three 12 lap races and a 20 lap finale. Race 1 will be held on Saturday at 2:05pm. Race 2 on Sunday morning will be live streamed via the TA2 Racing Australia and Hi-Tec Oils Super Series Facebook Page and Youtube Channel. Races 3 and 4 will be live and free to air on SBS and delayed live on Fox Sports and Kayo.
QUOTES Dylan Thomas, #68 CXC Racing Ford Mustang
“I've done quite a few rounds back in the day with Formula Vee. I should have won a Formula Vee national title there but speared it off the track all on my own, so that was probably one of my lowlights for when you look back at one that got away. “I did do a sneaky little test two weeks ago, the week after Queensland raceway, we ducked up there and took the TA2 up and just did a quick test. We had a decent test plan in place and we threw different items and setups at the car, even during the sessions we tried different ideas and philosophies. “We've sat down as a team, gone through video from the day and formulated a few other things to try when we hit the track for practice on Friday to see if it will help us.
“The reality is because we are leading, we're now in a position that we have a shot at the championship and although as drivers we always take it round by round, we are certainly thinking about the championship now. “In the big scheme of things, Haynes has been probably the quickest amongst us, and he’s had a DNF that really hurt him, but he’s catching us back round by round, and at the current trajectory he’ll be at us come Sydney Motorsport Park, so we need to try and stop the points lost to guys like him and Morgan Park is a really good opportunity to do that hopefully.
“This round will be heavily reliant on qualifying. We've always been pretty good in racing but qualifying has been a bit of a struggle for me so that’s what we’ve been focussing on. “Morgan Park will be challenging to pass, so qualifying is going to be very important. There's a new section with the sweeper which is quite grippy, while the other half of the track is quite slippery so it will be a challenge to setup for both of those, but if we can maximise the areas we need to maximise I think that’s all we can try and do and we’ll put our best foot forward to do that.”
SCHEDULE TA2 Muscle Car Series framed by HytekRound 4 - Morgan Park7-9 July 2023 All times in AEDT FRIDAY
Practice 1: 8:47am (20mins) Practice 2: 10:39am (20 mins) Practice 3: 12:31pm (20 mins) Practice 4: 2:23pm (20 mins) SATURDAY Qualifying: 8:30am (15 mins) Top 8 Shootout: 10:50am Race 1: 2:05pm (12 laps) SUNDAY Race 2: 10:23am (12 laps) Race 3: 1:08pm (12 laps) Race 4: 3:16pm (20 laps)
BROADCAST TIMES Live stream: Sunday 9:30am to 12:45pm (TA2 Racing Australia Facebook, Hi Tec Oils Super Series Facebook & YouTube) Speedweek: Sunday 1pm (SBS Viceland, SBS On Demand, Delayed Fox Sports, Kayo Sports) ENTRY LIST #4 Mark Crutcher (NSW), Ford Mustang - Crutcher Developments #7 Jackson Rice (VIC), Ford Mustang - Pedders Suspension & Brakes #13 Greg Keam (NSW), Ford Mustang - Debeers Refinish #21 Zach Loscialpo (NSW), Chevrolet Camaro - Tempest Solutions #22 Brad Gartner (SA), Ford Mustang - Castec Rural Supplies/MVA Racing #24 Nicholas Bates (NSW), Ford Mustang - Sullivans #37 Josh Haynes (NSW), Ford Mustang - Beaches SEADOO #40 Robert Leonard (QLD), Ford Mustang - Access Linemarking Equipment/Municipal Works Australia #50 Paul Hadley (NSW), Chevrolet Camaro - IES Motorsport #51 Graham Cheney (NSW), Chevrolet Camaro - IES Motorsport #55 Russell Wright (QLD), Ford Mustang - Crew Commercial #68 Dylan Thomas (NSW), Ford Mustang - CXC Racing #81 Hayden Jackson (NSW), Dodge Challenger - MGW/Team RSG #99 Matthew MacKelden, Ford Mustang - Kubota Racing
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In only his first full year of circuit racing, IES Motorsport’s Graham Cheney scored his first circuit racing championship win with victory in the 2022 TA2 Muscle Car Northern Series.
Jett Johnson lead the way after the first round in Sydney, but with Johnson’s eyes set on the national title, he was absent from the standalone second round of the northern series at Queensland Raceway.
There it was Norwell Motorplex driver Chris Pappas who took the series lead after scoring his first TA2 round win as inaugural TA2 champion Russell Wright won both Sunday races.
Round 3 returned to Queensland Raceway saw Johnson back on top, but with Pappas out of the equation it was Cheney that emerged with the series lead after running a strong second to Johnson for the weekend.
Newcomer Nick Lange also had a breakthrough round to finish third. Crutcher came home strong to top the Northern Series runners for the final round, but a consistent weekend for Cheney was enough to win the Northern Series by 18 points from Crutcher and Lange.
IES Motorsport team owner Paul Hadley finished a fine fourth from national champion Jett Johnson.
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A two round Access Linemarking Equipment TA2 King of the West title in Western Australia saw back to back race weekends at Wanneroo Raceway Perth and Collie Motorplex to launch the new
TA2 Western Series.
East Coast competitors Peter Robinson, Mark Crutcher and Rob Leonard made the long haul across the Nullabor. Joining the TA2 field included well known Sprintcar star Jason Pryde, father and son dairy farmers Brock and Brad Boley, experienced international racer Brett Niall, Clint Rayner, Ron Moller, Greg Freeman, and Camarodriver Glen Melling.
Clint Rayner won pole at Wanneroo on a wet track, before he came together with Brock Boley early in the race causing a safety car. At the restart, Niall bolted early copping a 5 second post-race penalty.
Pryde, the only front runner to stay on wets made the move on Niall for the lead into Turn 1, however faded later in the race in a great three way dice with Brad Boley taking the win in the Camaro after Nialls penalty was applied.
Brock Boley scored the win from the back of the grid in Race 2, while Pryde won the final race from Niall and Robinson after Brock Boley didn’t finish.
Round 2 of the TA2 King of the West title moved to Collie Motorplex, built around an old coal mine west of Bunbury. Two new names joined the field in Marc Watkins in the ex-Nathan Herne Dodge Challenger, now owned by Peter George, the TA2 Category representative in Perth, and Mark Cates taking delivery of former TA2 champ Russell Wrights Mustang only days before the race.
Niall scored pole by 0.10sec from Pryde and Brock Boley. Race 1 was wet as Robinson rolled the dice as the only one who gambled with slicks on a drying track. Brock Boley was the first to go at the final corner, while Crutcher made it up to second before spinning. Moller was another victim of the wet track, spinning twice, while Robinson closed on Pryde for third before Pryde spun on the final corner. Niall went on to win from a fast-finishing Robinson and Moller’s Camaro.
Robinson and Pryde came together at in Race 2 off the start with Pryde into the back of the Dodge in greasy conditions. Leonard was another to spin at Turn 10, while Moller, Crutcher and Brock Boley all ran hard nose to tail with Boley getting by Crutcher for third on lap 5. Moller made the move stick on Niall for the lead at the final corner to take the win. The final race for the King of the West title was a four way stoush between Niall, Pryde, Robinson and Crutcher. Brock Boley, Ron Moller and Mark Crutcher claimed the top 3 spots in the finale.
In the overall King of the West pointscore combining both the Wanneroo and Collie events, Camaro driver Brett Niall claimed the title by six points from Pryde and Robinson.
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