Thomas and Brook claim TA2 Mini Enduro at Darwin’s Hidden Valley.

Posted on 30 April 2023
Thomas and Brook claim TA2 Mini Enduro at Darwin’s Hidden Valley.

Dylan Thomas and Tim Brook claimed an action packed 20 lap feature race during Round Two of the TA2 Muscle Car Series - framed by HYTEK Steel Framing at Hidden Valley Raceway today. Nathan Herne, fresh from racing TA2 in the USA started the weekend well qualifying 2nd fastest by 7/100ths of a second to PWR pole winner Josh Haynes in the Beaches Sea Doo Mustang. Jordon Cox, co driving with Mark Crutcher was set for pole however lost his fastest time for impeding during the session and was relegated to 4th overall behind the Jackson Rice/Tyler Everingham Pedders Mustang, with the Dylan Thomas/Tim Brook combo 5th outright.

Each of the co-drivers had a 12 lap sprint race based on their individual qualifying times with Herne winning the first sprint from Josh Haynes, Dylan Thomas, Edan Thornburrow and Jackson Rice.  Eighteen-year-old Hayden Hume was running strong in the top three until he fired off under brakes at Turn One ending up in the pits with a damaged tyre.

In the second sprint race for co-drivers, Tyler Everingham started on pole from Jordan Cox with Tim Brook and Max Vidau on the second row.  Brook in the Dylan Thomas CXC Mustang went on to win from Cox, Everingham, Vidau and Jarrod Hughes in the Dodge Challenger he shared with Hayden Jackson.  Series front runner Nicholas Bates was running strong in the Josh Haynes Mustang however had battery failure with the car stopping on track causing a safety car.  George Miedecke, in his first TA2 drive since being series runner up in 2019 finished 6th in the McAlister Motors Mustang, while Marcus Zukanovic was well down after pitting to remove debris from the front of the MacKelden Kubota Mustang.

The grid for the final race, which included a pit stop and driver change, was set by the fastest qualifying times overall with Haynes starting alongside Herne, with Rice/Everingham and Crutcher/Cox on the second row.

Haynes and Herne both jumped well on the green, running side by side into Turn 5, before the Beaches Sea Doo Mustang dropped back to 4th out of Turn 1 on the second lap.  Herne continued to lead from Dylan Thomas/Jordan Cox until the CXC Mustang with Thomas behind the wheel speered off at Turn 1, putting Gartner up to second with Haynes closing in 3rd. Marcus Zukanovic stopped early in the race with throttle cable failure in MacKelden’s Mustang.

Adam Hargraves Camaro stopped on track between Turns 4 and 5 with fuel issues, causing a safety car just as the mandatory pit window opened on Lap 8.  Herne was first in to hand the CUBE 3 Dodge over to New Zealand driver Paul Manuell, with Thomas/Cox and Miedecke/McAlister also coming in early.

After the re-start, Aaron Tebb’s Waltec Racing Mustang ended in the gravel after suspension failure which set up another safety car period.

At the restart, Fisher in the IES Camaro hit the rear of the Jordan Cox/Mark Crutcher Mustang putting both cars into the wall on the Main Straight setting up another safety car period and a two-lap sprint to the flag.

Brook and Manuell came together at the end of the straight on the last lap in the Dodge he is sharing with Herne, however when the pit stop cycle had washed through,  Thomas and Brook  claimed the win, but due to a glitch with the timing system mid race, all other results are currently provisional pending a late night investigation  and will be released when corrected.

Drivers will be back on track tomorrow for the final two sprint races and a 35 lap enduro with mandatory pit stops and driver change with the highest point scoring driver pairing claiming the $20K cash bonus thanks to the Hi-Tec Oil Super Series promoters. Round Two of the TA2 Muscle Car Series - framed by HYTEK Steel Framing will be live streamed from 9.30 am and televised live on SBS and Fox Sports/Kayo from1 pm AEST.


Dylan Thomas, Ford Mustang - CXC Racing

“There has been a fair bit going on all weekend to be fair, even during the sprint races its all been pretty hectic. The most obvious passing opportunity would have to be at the end of the straight, it is very long. Tim had is own little moment at the end so I told him we don’t need to be too desperate.We are both very excited to have a crack for tomorrow’s Kings of the North race.

Brad Gartner, Ford Mustang - Castec Rural Supplies

“There was a massive mistake from me and we got given a penalty but we have learnt from that but credit to Max for that one. I did two green laps and they were not even full laps, he is driving amazing and I have to thank him. It’s already a battle of survival, if Max can keep driving like he is for tomorrow’s race and I keep my nose clean I think will have a really good shot tomorrow.


Rice/Everingham sizzle in Darwin Practise for the TA2 $20K Kings of the North Clash

Posted on 29 April 2023
Rice/Everingham sizzle in Darwin Practise for the TA2 $20K Kings of the North Clash

Series frontrunner Jackson Rice and co-driver Tyler Everingham set the benchmark in combined practise times for Round 2 of the TA2 Muscle Car Series - framed by HYTEK Steel Framing at Darwin’s Hidden Valley today.

The Pedders/Dream Racing Mustang laid down a 1.10.7 edging out the Josh Haynes/Nicholas Bates combo by 1/10th of a second, 4/10ths faster than Nathan Herne’s Dodge Challenger. Herne has returned from the USA to race this weekend with TA2 Asia champion Paul Manuell.

The Dylan Thomas/Tim Brook pairing was 4th overall, from the Jordan Cox/Mark Crutcher Mustang to round out the top five.

Graham Cheney and Eden Thornburrow were also within 5/10ths of the fastest time from Brad Gartner and Carrera Cup star Max Vidau, with Zach Loscialpo, George Miedecke/Hugh McAlister and Andrew Fisher/Paul Hadley within the top 10 and all within a second of the fastest time.

Drivers will have individual qualifying sessions tomorrow, followed by a 12 lap sprint race each, then the first of two longer races with mandatory pit stops and driver change.

Series leader Lee Stibbs had a frustrating day in the Arrow Financial Services Mustang with transmission issues to be well outside the top 10 but is expected to be back on the pace tomorrow for the MVA team.  Stibbs is one of four drivers going solo in the twenty car field, however will still have a mandatory stop and tyre change during the feature races.

The action at Hidden Valley carries over to the holiday Monday with another two sprint races and a 35 lap final race, with $20,000 cash going to the highest point scoring combo across all races.

Monday’s races will be streamed from 9am Eastern Standard time, and televised live for three hours on SBS and Fox Sports/Kayo from 12.30 Eastern Standard time.


#7 Pedders Suspension and brakes, Ford Mustang - Jackson Rice

“Hidden Valley Raceway is awesome, the track is super technical and super fast. There is a massive breakdown into turn 1. It is a very busy track and it is very technical over the back as you have a lot of elevation changes to deal with The best passing opportunities for this weekend would have to be turn 2 as it is probably the safest turn to overtake on this track.”

#10 CUBE 3, Dodge Challenger - Nathan Herne

“It’s great to be racing TA2 back in Australia and I’m grateful to Peter and Moana Robinson for giving me the opportunity.  I’ve raced S5000 here so I know the track pretty well, but I’m actually really enjoying being back in a PBR Australian Spec TA2 Dodge. The car is a lot more fun to drive than the Trans Am car in the USA, they run a different tyre over there which has more grip,  however I love this style of racing because the car moves around a lot more which really suits my driving style - plus its great fun!”

Combined practise times:

1 7 Pedders Suspension & Brakes Jackson Rice (VIC) Ford Mustang

2 37 Beaches Sea-Doo Josh Haynes (NSW) Ford Mustang

3 10 CUBE 3 Nathan Herne (NSW) Dodge Challenger

4 68 CXC Racing Dylan Thomas (NSW) Ford Mustang

5 Crutcher Developments Crutcher / Cox (NSW) Ford Mustang

6 51 IES Motorsport Graham Cheney (NSW) Chevrolet Camaro

7 22 Castec Rural Supplies Brad Gartner (SA) Ford Mustang

8 21 Tempest Solutions Zach Loscialpo (NSW) Chevrolet Camaro

9 6 McAlister Motors McAlister / Miedecke NSW Ford Mustang

10 50 IES Motorsport Paul Hadley (NSW) Chevrolet Camaro

11 99 Kubota Racing Matthew MacKelden (QLD) Chevrolet

12 45 Total Parts Plus Hayden Hume (QLD) Dodge Challenger

13 66 Arrow Financial Services Lee Stibbs (SA) Chevrolet Camaro

14 20 Adam Hargreaves (QLD) Chevrolet Camaro

15 81 MGW / Team RSG Hayden Jackson (NSW) Dodge Challenger

16 11 Kobelco/Sydney Truck and Mac Michael Coulter (NSW) Chevrolet Camaro

17 40 Access Linemarking Equipment Rob Leonard (QLD) Ford Mustang

18 93 Waltec Motorsport Aaron Tebb (NSW) Chevrolet Camaro

19 15 Rowell Logistics /Pacific Pet Michael Rowell (QLD) Ford Mustang

20 49 Allgate Motorsport Christopher Formosa NSW Dodge Challenger


Hot Field for Darwin’s TA2 $20,000 Kings of the North Round

Posted on 27 April 2023
Hot Field for Darwin’s TA2 $20,000 Kings of the North Round

The Darwin heat has attracted a smoking field for Round Two of the TA2 Muscle Car Series - framed by HYTEK Steel Framing at Darwin’s Hidden Valley Raceway on this long Labor Day weekend.

The world’s first TA2 two driver event includes names new to the series as well as previous championship frontrunners returning for a chance at the cash bonus.

High profile drivers set to join the grid for this weekend’s Hi-Tec Oils Super Series at Hidden Valley Raceway include  National Trans Am driver Tim Brook driving with Dylan Thomas in the CXC Ford Mustang, former series runner up George Miedecke with Hugh McAlister in the #6 McAlister Motors Ford Mustang, Porsche Carrera Cup winner Max Vidau  teaming up with fellow South Australian Brad Gartner in the Castec Rural Supplies Ford Mustang and Toyota 86 racer  Jarrod Hughes pairing up with Hayden Jackson from Team RSG in #81 Dodge Challenger. Regular TCR front runner Jordan Cox will also partner NSW regular Mark Crutcher in the Mustang.

Lee Stibbs, Zach Loscialpo, Aaron Tebb and Michael Rowell will be the only teams taking on this weekend’s event as solo drivers and will have to complete a mandatory pit stop and tyre change to the same minimum pit stop time as those teams doing a driver change.

Twice National Trans Am champ and now American TA2 star Nathan Herne will make his return to local racing, sharing with New Zealander Paul Manuell in Peter Robinson’s CUBE 3 #10 Dodge Challenger. Herne currently races in the USA Trans Am Series with Stevens - Miller Racing, where he has been proving himself in his rookie season as a serious front running contender, already nailing a podium finish against the best TA2 stars in America. Manuell brings a wealth of experience and knowledge having previously won the TA2 Asia Championship and the NZ Ute Championship.

2017 TA2 Champion Russell Wright is set to make his come back at Hidden Valley Raceway. Wright joins Rob Leonard in the “Slow Down Workers Around” Access Linemarking Equipment/ Municipal Workers Australia #40 Ford Mustang. Former truck racing and Oz Truck champion Steve Coulter will race with son Michael in the Kobelco Camaro while Edan Thornburrow, Andrew Fisher, Marcus Zukanovic, Nicholas Filipetto, Tyler Everingham, Daniel Jilesen, teaming with TA2 regular Adam Hargraves ,and Robert Hackwood are all notable additions to the field.

Six races will be held across the weekend with each driver having a separate qualifying sessions and 12 lap sprint races, before combining for two longer races on the Sunday and holiday Monday afternoon with the driver change.

Fans can look forward to an action-packed weekend of racing with drivers taking on the challenges of Darwin’s Hidden Valley Raceway and TA2’s $20,000 cash prize and Kings of The North Title put up by the Hi-Tec Oils Super Series promoters for the highest scoring driver pairing over all the races.

The TA2 Muscle Car Series - framed by HYTEK Steel Framing kicks off this long weekend with live streaming to commence from 9.30 am on Monday AEST before going live and free to air from 1PM on SBS, simulcast on Fox Sports and Kayo.


Craig Denyer - TA2 National Category Manager

“When the offer came through to do the Darwin event we thought long and hard about doing something special, given it’s a long haul for all teams. They have reacted so well to the two-driver format, that we now have the most competitive TA2 field ever seen in Australia and the first of this format for TA2 worldwide.  It’s great to be able to give the TA2 family new experiences and I can’t thank Stephen, Shannon, George and all the Hi-Tech Super Series team enough for making this event happen. Let’s hope this becomes a regular hallmark event for the series.”

Matthew MacKelden - Kubota Racing

“I went to Darwin numerous times when the V8 Ute Series supported the Supercar events and it is an awesome place to race. Everyone just loves the atmosphere and stunning beach side sunsets, plus the fantastic Hidden Valley facility which is well presented and always turns on brilliant on track action.  TA2 is the perfect fit for this track and even after being in the category a number of years now, I can’t pick a favourite going into this one. This could go anyway and the bonus of $20,000 cash for the overall winners will see all sorts of strategies played out up and down pit lane. Having Marcus Zukanovic, who raced at Darwin many times, riding shotgun for Kubota Racing will be our ace for the weekend but given how sharp the field is the cards could fall anyway and to anyone!” 


Porsche winner Max Vidau Joins Brad Gartner for Kings of the North

Posted on 24 April 2023
Porsche winner Max Vidau Joins Brad Gartner for Kings of the North

2017 Australian Formula Ford Champion and current Porsche Carrera Cup Australia contender Max Vidau is the latest name to join the grid for the TA2 King of the North two-driver event at Hidden Valley Raceway this weekend. The excitement is building for Round 2 of the 2023 TA2 Muscle Car Series framed by Hytek, with Vidau set to team up with fellow South Australian Brad Gartner in the #22 Castec Rural Supplies Ford Mustang.

Gartner’s car is prepared by South Australian team MVA Racing which is headed up by Michael Vidau, Max’s father. Vidau is a talented young driver with an impressive track record as a champion of the 2017 Australian Formula Ford Series, and a multiple race winner in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge and now a contender in Porsche Carrera Cup Australia with Tekworkx Motorsport. Vidau also races on the dirt in Sprintcars, and is looking forward to adding the TA2 cars to his racing resume. It was a rough start to the season for Gartner, with the speedy 19-year-old coming unstuck in the first race of the weekend. However, Darwin presents an opportunity to get his championship campaign back on track, which is currently lead by MVA Racing teammate Lee Stibbs.

The addition of Max Vidau to Brad Gartner's team is expected to boost their chances of success in the TA2 King of the North Races and both drivers are looking forward to working together to achieve a win. The TA2 King of the North Races represents the first ever two-driver race for TA2 cars anywhere in the world, and the first time TA2 will race in the Northern Territory at Hidden Valley Raceway. Cars hit the track for practice on Saturday at the Hi-Tec Oils Super Series before qualifying and the first three races of the weekend on Saturday. The Monday labour day holiday feature races will be televised live on SBS, and simulcast on Fox Sports/Kayo.  


Max Vidau, co-driver #22 MVA Racing / Castec Rural Supplies Ford Mustang “Keen to get to Darwin. Obviously we've got a round there for Porsche in a couple of months, so it will be good to get some laps there as a bit of preparation for that. “Great to join up with Brad, MVA Racing is my Dad’s racing team so it’s pretty cool to are under him as well. “I helped the team out with a bit of coaching at the final round last year at Winton where Brad won a race and nearly won the round. I go to all of the test day and help the guys out so it will be cool to finally get a drive of one. “It's been a while since I've driven a dog-box manual, not since Formula Ford, so that'll be cool to get back into. Obviously the loose driving style in the sprint car should suit the TA2 as well. “Brad had a rough one at the first round. Lee [Stibbs] ended up winning the the round, which is good for the team. But, the plan for Darwin will be to get some solid results and points on the board for him. “It would be cool to win the whole thing, but the main thing is getting points with Brad and keeping the team fast.”

Former Series TA2 Champion Russell Wright returns for Darwin Kings of the North round

Posted on 23 April 2023

With a combined age of over 130 years, Team 40 will certainly have a wealth of life experience to take to Darwin for Round 2 of the Hi-Tec Oils Super Series.

Russell Wright, the 2017 TA2 champion, will make a return to the series for next weekend’s Round Two of the TA2 Muscle Car Series - framed by HYTEK Steel Framing at Darwin’s Hidden Valley. The veteran will join Rob Leonard in the “Slow Down Workers Around” Access Linemarking Equipment/ Municipal Workers Australia TA2 Mustang for the two-driver event.

Rob is hoping to draw on the experience on offer from the past champion and a long time TA2 driver. Wrights TA2 highlight was racing at the Circuit of America’s in Texas for Stevens- Miller Racing, part of the prize in winning the 2017 TA2 title, the same team that Nathan Herne now drivers for in the USA. Both drivers are quick to point out that they are there to have fun next weekend and while they will be pushing for a good result are fully aware that finishing each race is important for the series. The Hi-Tec Oils Super Series has put up a $20,000 cash bonus for the highest point scoring two driver combination over the six races next weekend. Other drivers to commit to the two driver concept are Touring Car Masters driver Marcus Zukanovic, teaming with Matt MacKelden in the Kubota Mustang, Dunlop Super 2 regular Tyler Everingham joining Jackson Rice in the Pedders Mustang, Edan Thornburrow with IES Camaro driver Graham Cheney, Andrew Fisher with Paul Hadley’s Camaro Team, National Trans-Am driver Tim Brook driving with Dylan Thomas in the CXC Mustang. Nathan Herne also returns in an all International entry alongside Asian TA2 and NZ V8 Ute Champ Paul Manuell, driving Peter Robinsons Dodge Challenger. Each of the drivers will get to do two sprint races in their own right, before combining for two feature races, each with a driver change mid race. The Monday labour day holiday feature races will be televised live on SBS, and simulcast on Fox Sports/Kayo.
QUOTESRob Leonard, driver #40 Access Linemarking Equipment / Municipal Workers Ford Mustang  “Rusty still competes in historic Trans-Am so he will be on the pace straight away in the new Mustang, prepared by Team Johnson Racing, which had its first outing at the recent Winton round. I’m pretty new to this form of racing, so I’m looking forward to learning from one of the fiercest competitors around. In Rusty’s final full time TA2 appearance last year he won 3 out of the 4 races, so I’m pumped to be able to share the car with a real master.” Russell Wright, co-driver #40 Access Linemarking Equipment / Municipal Workers Ford Mustang “I love this category and was one of the first drivers to invest in the series when Peter Robinson kicked it off. To race at Darwin is something special, so I’m glad that Rob and Jill have given me the opportunity to share the experience and enjoy the ride. The car looks sensational, has been prepared by Steven Johnson so if we keep it together for all 6 races, then we might be surprised where Team 40 ends up.”