Nathan Herne made a lightning trip to the United States, with the support of TA2 and the series’ Technical Officer Cam Sendall. Herne was granted a wildcard entry for the final round of the American version of the TA2 Series at the Circuit of the Americas.
In addition to those racing commitments, Nathan also met with Chas Howe, the owner of Howe Racing Enterprises.
Herne qualified 12th for the one hour race and made strong early progress to be in contention for a podium finish.
The two-time Australian Trans Am champion was battling for third place, only to make contact with his rival, damaging the front splitter and losing vital down- force. He soldiered on to finish fourth – an outstanding result amongst a 50+ car field.
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Tempest Solutions Camaro driver Zach Loscialpo scored his first circuit racing championship win with victory in the 2022 TA2 Muscle Car Southern Series.
The first round in Sydney saw Kobelco Motorsport’s Michael Coulter lead the way after the night race in Sydney, finishing third overall for the round with Loscialpo fourth.
Coulter crashed out at The Bend during Round 2, while rookie Josh Haynes stole the show. He took overall round honours after a thrilling battle with eventual series champion Jett Johnson.
Former Toyota 86 and production car racer Dylan Thomas finished second with Loscialpo third of the Southern Series contenders.
Coulter was back on form at the third round at Winton to lead Nicholas Bates and John Holinger in the Southern Series, but Loscialpo’s consistency saw him head into the final round in Sydney in the lead of the points.
Loscialpo sealed the Southern Series at the final round in Sydney, when he scored his first overall round win ahead of Coulter and Bates, while Bates bested Coulter for second in the series.
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Dream Racing Australia’s Jackson Rice left Round 3 of the TA2 Muscle Car Series at Queensland Raceway with a solid bank of points keeping him well in the title fight. Entering the event five-points in arrears of series leader Dylan Thomas, Rice aimed to stay in touch and succeeded in doing this last weekend. Rice welcomed new sponsor Mudtamer car mats for Queensland Raceway where he qualified in third before finishing fourth in the Top 10 Shootout on a 1m 12.933s. Maintaining fourth in an uninterrupted opening race place set Rice up for a strong run of results as title rival Thomas remained in close proximity. Displacing Thomas in a chaotic Race 2 after a great start and clean overtake at Turn 3 enabled Rice to score a podium result in third. Dropping a wheel off cost Rice two spots as he dropped to fifth in the third event of the weekend leaving the 20-lap final to round out proceedings. As the weather changed ahead of the final event of the weekend, it led to many drivers including Rice entering the pits to change tyres. A fine charge through the field followed for Rice as he worked hard to keep the Mudtamer Ford Mustang on the circuit and avoid many incidents to cross the line fifth, although a 30s post-race penalty led to seventh. Although he has lost a little ground to Thomas as the deficit grew to 17-points, Rice will aim to reduce this at the next round of the TA2 Muscle Car Series at Morgan Park, Queensland on July 8-9.
QUOTESJackson Rice - #7 Mudtamer/Dream Racing Australia Ford Mustang
“It was good to get some points in the bank, I think we lost a little bit in terms of margin to the title leader,” said Rice.
“From a championship point of view, it’s going to be tight and close racing, which is what we want. “The guys at Mudtamer came out and they were fantastic. They spent the weekend with us, we introduced them to the Dream Racing Australia team and really appreciate the support I receive from them, so I hope to continue the partnership.
“I’m looking forward to Morgan Park as it is a very technical circuit as our cars traditionally stop, turn, rotate really well, so our short track set-ups are very strong, so I can really have a crack!”
Nash Morris has clean swept Round 3 of the TA2 Muscle Car Series framed by HYTEK Steel Framing in a wild weather-affected Sunday at Queensland Raceway.
After a dominant win in Race 1 on Saturday, Morris lead the rest of the field away off the start in Race 2.
Michael Coulter ran into trouble through Turn 5 on Lap 1 and returned to pit lane with a broken throttle cable.
The safety car was called on Lap 2 when Chris Pappas and Nicholas Bates clashed at Turn 3, while Bates received penalty of five championship points for his part in the incident.
The race resumed on Lap 8, before drama struck again two laps later when Brad Gartner suffered a brake failure at Turn 4 and slid backwards into the infield tyre wall. Gartner was taken to the infield medical centre and cleared of any serious injuries.
The field took the flag under safety car on Lap 10 with Morris taking the win from Haynes and Rice.
Morris scored a lights-to-flag win in Race 3 from Haynes and Thomas.
Michael Rowell spun out on Lap 1 at Turn 4 after having contact with Matt MacKelden, and received a three-grid spot penalty for his part in the incident.
Mark Crutcher spun at Turn 6 on Lap 2 after contact with Chris Pappas.
Jackson Rice sat in third on Lap 6 until he dropped a wheel at Turn 6 and lost two positions, as Russell Wright moved up to fourth.
Nicholas Bates recovered from his incident in Race 2 to move his way up from 19th to 12th, while Hayden Hume retired on Lap 7 with a gearbox issue.
The heavens opened on the formation lap of Race 4, as 12 of the 19 starters piled into pit lane to swap from slicks to wet weather tyres, including pole sitter Nash Morris.
Thomas and Haynes gambled to stay on slicks and lead the field away from Hugh McAlister and rookie Greg Keam.
Morris joined the back of the field on the first lap and proceeded to charge his way back into the lead by the third lap of the race, and produced a 30-second lead by half race distance.
Haynes and Thomas closed in as the track dried up in the closing stages, but the gap was too far gone as Morris hung on to win the race and the round on his series return.
In the championship points, Dylan Thomas extended his lead to 12 points over Rice, as Haynes moved up to third ahead of Bates and Cheney.
Hayden Jackson scored the Wilwood Big Braker Award for his strong overtaking moves all weekend, Michael Rowell scored the Bowden’s Best Presented Award, Greg Keam won the RaceTech Rookie of the Round and Russell Wright won the Circo Masters Class on his TA2 Comeback.
The Geoff Leeds Memorial Trophy, donated by Tony Quinn of Queensland Raceway, was awarded to Hugh McAlister for best displaying Leeds’ mantra of “Race Hard, Race Fair, Give Racing Room and Respect Your Fellow Competitor’.
Round 4 of the TA2 Muscle Car Series framed by Hytek heads to Morgan Park Raceway in Warwick, QLD on July 8-9.
2023 TA2 Muscle Car Series framed by Hytek Pointscore (After Round 3)
Nash Morris, #67 Supercheap Auto / Norwell Motorplex Ford Mustang
“It was good to win every race and get the pole position here at QR.
“I think it was the right strategy call to swap tyres and start from the lane, but then it actually stopped raining, so I was second guessing myself, I was pretty lucky to hang on there but it worked out well in the end.
“I love driving in the wet, so I enjoyed it. It was full NASCAR style. I brought it in, thought I was in the Daytona 500, but it was pretty cool. Credit to the team, they’ve been giving me a fast car all weekend.
“Winton will be good next week, hopefully we can carry on what we’ve done here, but I have not really raced there before so we’ll see how we go.
Hugh McALister, #6 McAlister Motors Ford Mustang
(Geoff Leeds Memorial Trophy Recipient)
"It’s an absolute honour to win the Geoff Leeds Memorial Trophy. I think yesterday on the grid was an amazing celebration and ceremony for Geoff and I know a lot of people teared up on the grid and he was in our minds a lot of the weekend.
“It’s a real honour to take this trophy home, I’m absolutely thrilled.”