Eight cars from the PROMAXX Performance Exhausts TA2 Muscle Car Series will line up in the Tin Tops support category for this weekend’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, October 15-18.
The eight car TA2 line-up will include young-gun Nathan Herne in the Gulf Western Oils Dodge Challenger.
The 18-year old multiple TA2 race winner was set to make his Supercars Championship debut in The Great Race in a wildcard entry with Garry Rogers Motorsport (GRM), however his application for a dispensation for a Superlicence required to compete in the race was denied by Motorsport Australia.
This will mark Herne’s second appearance at Mount Panorama this year in his Dream Racing Australia TA2 car following his victory in the TA2 class of the Combined Sedans support category at the Bathurst 12 Hour in February. Herne will also work for GRM as a driver change assistant in the pit crew across the weekend.
Alongside Herne, Dream Racing Australia will field two cars for Craig Scutella plus V8 Ute and Touring Car Masters racer Andrew Fisher in the Jesus Racing Camaro.
Also returning to the mountain this year following the 12 Hour supports include Chris Formosa in his ‘Scooby-Doo’ inspired Allgate Motorsport Dodge Challenger and Mark Crutcher in his Crutcher Developments Challenger.
After taking victory in the TA2 NSW State of Origin event at Sydney Motorsport Park a fortnight ago, Kubota Racing Mustang driver Hugh McAlister will head to the mountain alongside his father Ian McAlister, with the experienced racer lining-up in his McAlister Motors-backed Camaro.
Sydney-based Michael Coulter will take the wheel of his Kobelco Motorsport Mustang after father Steve Coulter raced at the 12 Hour earlier this year.
The TA2 cars will compete in their own class within the Tin Tops grid and will be recognised by their own points, qualifying positions and top three finishes.
Herne led the TA2 cars and placed in the overall top ten in both practice sessions for the Tin Tops, with Jesus Racing’s Andrew Fisher and Kubota Racing’s Hugh McAlister the other top TA2 entries.
The PROMAXX Performance Exhausts TA2 Muscle Car Series will then hit the track the following weekend at Queensland Raceway for the QLD State of Origin event at the Australian Motor Racing Series (AMRS) meeting on October 23-25.
The Aussie Tin Tops are set for two 20-minute practice sessions, one 20-minute qualifying session and three nine-lap races across the weekend. Races can be viewed live on Fox Sports 506 and Network 10.
Nathan Herne, #29 Gulf Western Oils Dodge Challenger driver
“Last year I came here as a spectator and while I had the call-up to do the 1000, to still be here in the TA2 this year is still really cool and while the crowd isn’t here it will still be an amazing week and a bucket-list event as a race driver,” said Herne.
“It’s not in the Supercar but the TA2 is a really fun car to drive here, they’re not as setup-critical as a Supercar where you can really rag the TA2 to get a lap time out of them and they slide around across the top of the Mountain.
“They dance around a lot on the Hoosier cross-ply and they do crumble as we found out earlier this year, the biggest thing for us this weekend is making sure the tyres last and don’t start to tear up after a few laps.
“We have eight TA2 cars here so it would be good to show the speed these cars have compared to some of the other cars in the Tin Top category.
“These are one of the cheapest cars here when you look at all of the Porsches and GT cars, but we have a chance to be high up in the field so it just shows the bang-for-buck this package provides and hopefully some of us are close enough to have a mini-race within the race.”
Craig Denyer, TA2 Muscle Car Series Manager
“It’s just great to be back on track again and any opportunity to race and get track time at Bathurst shouldn’t be missed,” said Denyer.
“I’m sure Nathan and the rest of the TA2 Muscle Car racers will have a ball playing on one of the largest touring car stages when you look at the worldwide following the Bathurst 1000 at Mount Panorama delivers.
“Our Queensland based teams will also get a run next weekend as part of the AMRS Series at Queensland Raceway, so when you include the AMRS round at Sydney Motorsport Park recently, we have been able to deliver three different TA2 racing opportunities over four weeks, and hopefully Sandown is yet to come at the end of November.”