John McLaughlin put in a clinical drive in the final race of the weekend to win Round 1 of the 2020 PROMAXX Performance Exhausts TA2 Muscle Car Series at Winton Motor Raceway.
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In Race 2, McLaughlin lost the rolling start to second-placed Murray Kent’s Fit Flask Camaro, as Kent ferociously defended his lead for the remainder of the race. The Queenslanders could not be separated by more than half a car-length as Kent scored his maiden TA2 race win.
The safety car was called on Lap 5 after Graham Smith spun at the Turn 5 sweeper and caused a grassfire, as safety crews put it out and the race resumed a lap later.
Michael Kulig and Kobelco Motorsport’s Michael Coulter swapped spots throughout the race battling for third, with Kulig hanging on for third and almost snatched second when McLaughlin climbed the curb exiting the final corner and slowed on exit. The top four crossed the line split by under two seconds.
The race was called four laps from home after Tim Tritton spun exiting Turn 10 and came back on track and heavily T-boned the side of Anthony Tenkate’s Mustang. Tenkate was taken to hospital for observations but returned to the circuit to spectate the final race of the round.
Kent lead off the start before he slid wide exiting the Turn 1-2 chicane on Lap 2 and McLaughlin and Michael Kulig both passed him into Turn 3.
Kulig scored a personal-best race finish for Kulig Engineering and Racing in second to finish third for the round behind Kent.
A storming drive for Graham Smith saw him climb six spots from tenth to fourth including a move into Turn 1 on Graham Cheney as Cheney spun off the road to earn the Coolshirt Systems Move of the Moment Award.
Russell Wright moved up to fifth ahead of Mark Crutcher, who climbed from last to sixth to receive the Hypercoil Hard Charger Award for the round.
Coulter dropped back through the field with a power steering leak, while Darren Berry failed to finish after having fumes in the cabin.
The PROMAXX Performance Exhausts TA2 Muscle Car Series heads to Morgan Park Raceway in Warwick, Queensland for Round 2 on April 3-5.
John McLaughlin, driver #17 myraceprofile.com Ford Mustang
“It’s a great feeling for the myraceprofile.com team and I to win the opening round of the 2020 PROMAXX Performance Exhausts TA2 Muscle Car Series,” said John McLaughlin.
“All weekend we had the pace to be at the front and I just hadn’t been able to utilise it in the opening few races.
“To get the pass into the lead done early in the final race allowed me to put a gap on the rest of the field and show what pace we had in the #17 myraceprofile.com Mustang.
“It’s been a great start to the season, we’re in it for the long haul and aiming for the championship so to come out on top after Round 1 is the perfect way to kick off the season.”