18-year-old Nash Morris has converted pole position to victory in Race 1 of the PROMAXX Performance Exhausts TA2 Muscle Car Northern Series powered by Atlantic Oils at Queensland Raceway.
Morris lead home a speedy Russell Wright, the motorsport veteran quick as ever in his late 60s, and 16-year old Jett Johnson when the race was declared after nine out of the scheduled 12 laps due to an incident involving Chris Pappas and Adam Hargraves.
After dipping into the 1:12s bracket in practice, Morris topped the charts early in qualifying with his first flying lap of 1:13.5. Wright, the inaugural series winner and defending Masters class champion responded with a 1:13.8, and then lowered his marker again to a 1:13.1441.
Morris came back late in the piece with a 1:13.1384 to pip Wright by a mere five-thousandths of a second, the closest margin in TA2 Muscle Car Series history.
Karl Begg and Northern Series leader Jett Johnson filled the second row, with less than nine tenths of a second splitting the top seven on the grid.
Johnson moved to third around Turn 1 off the start, as Morris gapped the field out front. After starting 10th, debutant Dalton Ellery made a move on Kubota Racing’s Matt MacKelden into Turn 1 on Lap 4 for ninth place.
Wright closed in on the race leader Morris, setting the fastest lap of the race at a 1:13.76.
Pappas and John McLaughlin had a nose-to-tail dice that lasted over three laps, as the pair battled side-by-side down the front and back straights of The Paperclip. McLaughlin passed Pappas again down the main straight on Lap 6 for fifth as Anthony Tenkate closed in on the pair.
Drama struck on the following lap as Pappas got loose in the rear and spun at Turn 3, and was collected hard by Adam Hargraves’ Camaro.
A clampdown period was called as the medical team checked on Hargraves, but he was fine and cleared of any injury.
The race was declared after nine laps, with Morris taking the flag from Wright, Johnson, Begg, and McLaughlin in the top five, with Ellery, Tenkate, MacKelden, Peter Robinson, Rob Leonard and Warren Wadley rounding out the 11 finishers.
The PROMAXX Performance Exhausts TA2 Muscle Car Northern Series returns tomorrow with three more 12-lap sprint races, with series organisers declaring that this will mark the final round of the 2021 Northern Series.
Jett Johnson holds a slender seven-point lead over Wright heading into the final day’s play for the Northern Series as he chases his first circuit racing title.
PROMAXX Performance Exhausts
2021 TA2 Northern Series Points (Updated after Race 1)
1st – Jett Johnson – 467
2nd – Russell Wright – 460
3rd – Warren Wadley – 384
4th – Chris Pappas – 378
5th – Anthony Tenkate – 374