Posted in TA2 Media
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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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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Veteran touring car star and motor sport administrator Geoff Leeds passed away this morning in Brisbane after a relatively short battle with cancer. Geoff was active in the sport until his diagnosis earlier this year and for the last four seasons was the Driving Standards and Prosecuting Officer for the TA2 Muscle Car Series.
In a driving career spanning 35 years, Geoff was an active competitor predominately in Touring Cars, racing a Torana XU1 and other class cars during what many would say were the golden years of touring car racing - the Moffat, Brock, Johnson, Jane, Grice, Geoghegan, Goss era. He lined up on the grid at Mt Panorama for 23 consecutive starts in the Great Race at Bathurst in everything from Minis to a Camaro. He was once quoted as saying. “I was desperate to race at Bathurst no matter what, but to get a CAMS licence you had to have a parent’s signature if you were under 21 and I knew Mum wouldn’t do it, so I forged her signature.”
Geoff grew up in Bathurst, living in the historic Tattersalls Hotel (now called the Elephant & Castle) just 3km from the track, so was inevitably exposed to motor racing from a young age. With co drivers such as Japanese Touring Car Champion and Le Mans 24 hour Winner Yoshimi Katayama, Ford Cortina and later Porsche pilot Jim McKeown, (who was a runner up in the Australian Touring Car Championship to the great Norm Beechey in 1970), F5000 Australian Gold Star Champion John Leffler, “King of the Privateers” Terry Finnigan, plus other Australian Championship winners, Geoff achieved a class win, numerous class placings plus a number of top 15 finishes with a best result of 8th outright in the 1991 Bathurst 1000. During a stellar five-year period in the 1970s, Geoff finished first, third and fourth in his class in successive years driving his own Ford Escorts, then fourth with Jim McKeown in a Mazda RX3. For five years he co-drove Finnigan’s Commodore achieving his highest outright result.
He wrapped up his racing career with a stint in Aussie Racing Cars. After hanging up the helmet and gloves, he became the General Manager/Motorsport Manager of Oran Park promoting the Australian Touring Car Championship, the Australian Super Touring Car Championship and Australian Sports Sedan Championship. So respected in the industry, he had a street named after him in the housing development that enveloped what was the original Oran Park circuit, along with Brock, Moffat, Bond and others. In 2002 he was approached by V8 Supercars to become the IPO (Investigating and Prosecuting Officer) for the V8 Dunlop Development Series with Colin Bond as the Driver Standards Advisor - a position Geoff held for 2 years.
He was dealer principal at a number of successful car dealerships in Sydney in his earlier years before moving to Queensland with his wife Sandra in 2007 operating a series of retail outlets. Due to the burgeoning success of the TA2 Muscle Car Series, Geoff was appointed to the Driving Standards and Prosecuting Officer’s role and was highly respected by all. Geoff was perfect for the position. He had the history and track record to cut through the driver spin, ensuring his decisions were fair and transparent, based on knowledge in all levels of competition. While drivers may not have always agreed with his decisions on the day, they all respected it came from someone who had over 35 years of experience fighting for track position against the best drivers in the country during that era.
His son Ben remains active in the motor sport industry, engineering Jett Johnson to the TA2 Muscle Car Series win last year for Team Johnson, and now works for PBR Distributions, delivering and servicing the PBR Spec TA2 race cars from the PBR factory at Hillcrest.
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